Best Series IMO: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Favorite Series: Sword Art Online (deal with it)
My Anime Ratings:
Just an anime fan done with bullshit from trolls. I welcome those looking for a nice talk, not those that lecture me about what I HAVE to like.
Me when people online disrespect me, treat me less than human, or think I'm not credible solely because I love Kawahara's series; almost never Accel world, but almost ALWAYS for Sword Art Online.↓
My Favorite Anime from #10 to #1:
#10: Log Horizon
#9: Kill la Kill
#8: Accel World
#7:My Hero Academia
#6: The Seven Deadly Sins
#5: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
#4: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
#1: Sword Art Online
My Overall Rating System(Series can have all or some. I will determine the rating accordingly if there's a mix from different rating categories.):
10/10-Masterpiece-Has very solid plots, exceptionally well-characterized/developed main characters at least, deeper and sometimes thought-provoking themes, or the plots are just so enjoyable that I can't find much to hate about them(Ex. for Last: The Seven Deadly Sins). Can sometimes deal with real-life issues that everyone faces. Does not need to be flawless since no anime is flawless. Only for anime that amaze me in a good way. I can forgive changes to some rules if they are explained later down the road, or are practically non-existent in the source material(Something that SAO has done exceptionally well.). If characters aren't well-developed or characterized, they must be extremely lovable. My favorites that I've given this rating include Sword Art Online(fight me, and check the Show Rant part of this section if you are thinking of parroting that garbage of an Echo Chamber that's been used to no end with no back-up), Madoka Magica, Steins;Gate, The Seven Deadly Sins/Nanatsu no Taizai, and Noragami Aragoto. 9/10-Great-Has mostly fleshed-out plots, very well-characterized/developed main characters at least, can have the deeper themes, but doesn't need them. For series that still manage to get me to show a lot of love for them, but feel a little incomplete or left me wanting a little bit more. The line between this and 10 out of 10 is thin, so my rating may switch easily when it's rated this highly. May have a few things that don't make sense that I can forgive. As long as they answer it later down the line, I'm fine with it. If characters aren't well-developed or characterized, they must be very lovable. My favorites that I've given this rating include Log Horizon, The Devil is a Part-timer!, Parasyte -the maxim-, Noragami(1st season), Magi(both seasons), and Accel World. 8/10-Very Good-Has good plots, maybe a little flawed though. At least one or two of the main characters have to be well-characterized or developed. Rarely used. For series that manage to get love from me, but probably not in the usual amount. If characters aren't well-developed or characterized, they must be lovable. My favorites that I've given this rating include Darker than Black, Tokyo Ghoul, Blue Exorcist, and My Neighbor Totoro. 7/10-Good-Is all around good, but there are some obvious weaknesses that are seriously detracting from it. If it's very cliché, or just not that fleshed-out. At least one main character has to be well-characterized or developed. If characters aren't well-developed or characterized, they must be likable. 6/10-Fine-Is very, very flawed, but still enjoyable. Mainly for series that butcher the source material. At least a few characters have to be enjoyable, and the individual episode plots have to be fun. Overall plot with a deeper message is almost non-existent. (Ex. I love the Rosario + Vampire manga, but the anime is seriously flawed because it abandons the overall plot of the manga and some of the characterization of the characters in favor of 10x as much bouncing boobs and panty shots.) If characters aren't well-developed or characterized, they must be likable. 5/10-Average-Not that much good, but not entirely bad. They have to be at least visually appealing if they're lacking in plot or characters. Characters are stereotypes or archetypes that don't do much to separate themselves out from other characters. Just to make things clear: almost every character has an archetype. It's a matter of what they do to separate themselves out from others that determines well-done characterization/character development for me. If characters aren't well-developed or characterized, they must be likable. 4/10-Bad/Decent-Has more bad than good, but may have one or two fun moments/a few good episodes. Badly developed/characterized characters that only hold to their stereotypes/archetypes to a T. Almost no visible plot that makes any sort of sense. Maybe has a few inconsistencies with no promise of a correction later down the line. Can still have a few likable characters. 3/10-Very Bad-So much bad and so little good. Same as 4 out of 10, but also may have characters that act like assholes or bad morals that are kind of supported. Has much fewer likable characters than 4 out of 10. 2/10-Horrible-Same as 3 out of 10, but worse. Has almost no characterization/character development. Almost none of the characters are likable. 1/10-Nearly Un-watchable-The bottom of the barrel. No discernible plot. Almost none to no character development or characterization. The things that I can barely call "characters" are most likely assholes. May have awful morals supported rather than punished. NONE of the "characters" are likable.
Unpopular Opinions I have of both of Reki Kawahara's series:
-Kazuto is a great main character for SAO. Actually pay some fucking attention and you'll see he EARNED what he got. It just didn't waste episodes going over every single battle he fought. Because all of us know how "exciting" it is to see a battle drag on for 10+ episodes... He has human flaws, but people deny it since they act like "Gary Stu" is a synonym for "overpowered", and they can't stand that he's a nice person(and yes, this is used on basically every other Shounen or Shounen Parody protagonist. I've even heard Saitama from One Punch Man called this from the toxic users of this site for fuck's sake...and it's JUST because his key characteristic is being overpowered...(-_-")). People also tend to forget that SAO: Progressive is a thing, and SAO Progressive: Vol. 1 wasn't even completed when the anime began airing, so they didn't have material to go off of for most of Aincrad, and there may be a possibility to please those that were disappointed in the length of the Aincrad arc if they decide to adapt it. Also, don't blame Reki Kawahara for Tomohiko Itou and the adaptation team's failings. There's more to Kazuto. It's just that the adaptation team failed to some extent since they tried condensing 4 to 8 light novels' worth of story, plus an anime original that made it into Progressive in greater detail, into the span of 49 anime episodes, which failed in some ways to fully portray the story, especially in world-building. This being said...
-The anime was NOT as bad as the hatedom and LN readers say. Yes, it's missing the world-building specifics on most game-mechanics(hence why I said Log Horizon has better world-building than SAO's anime in my notes on Log Horizon on my Anime List). Yes, there was a plot hole that was only vaguely addressed 13 episodes later in Season 1(on the players being moved to hospitals, and, more specifically, the "2 hour grace period" of being unplugged so they could be moved there without their brain frying) during the Aincrad arc when it should have been addressed in episode 1 like it did in the light novel. But I still find it ridiculous that people are acting like the light novels are "gifts from God that can do no wrong and have no flaws and absurdly well-characterized characters", and the anime is "a plague from Satan that ruins everything in its wake and is nothing but flaws and has characters so poorly characterized that they're basically cardboard with a side of stale bread". Don't get me wrong, the light novels are fantastic and EASILY better than the anime, but labeling it the complete opposite when it's mostly following the story just sounds...stupid. Then again, I'm probably not the best person to listen to on this since my first experience with the series WAS the anime, so of course I'm going to have a positive bias towards it. It pisses me off that LN readers act like it's the "practically 0% version" of the series rather than the "90% version" the anime actually is. It's like saying FMA: B is a piss-poor adaptation just because it's rushed at the beginning, even though it's following the manga almost 100%...
Look...I love the light novels more than the anime as any other fan, but the anime being "a train-wreck" because it's following the LNs and isn't a 1000% perfect, word-for-word adaptation?!...This is why I don't like seeing "source material purist" behavior...especially if it's mostly faithful...At least be glad it wasn't bastardized beyond recognition or vastly changed like it was for R+V's transition to anime...
-Haruyuki Arita is NOT a bad main character. Yes, he's a wimp in the beginning, but his character development throughout the series helps with that, and being a wimp isn't inherently bad(see: Ken Kaneki and Shinichi Izumi). And that is SERIOUSLY petty to say he's a "bad main character" because he's short and fat...Looks aren't all to a character, people...(-_-") Dislike his character design all you want, but that's still childish to say him being short and fat is what makes him a "bad" character...
-The villains in both of his series weren't that bad. Sugou was great because he was so easy to hate. Kyouji's motivations were a tad weak, but being fucked up in the head due to his Laughing Coffin brother is interesting. Kayaba's motivations haven't been revealed yet, but his combination of apathy and a sense of honor, despite being a sociopath, make him memorable. It's brilliant for Shouichi Shinkawa considering his affiliation with Laughing Coffin. Noumi being this enormous, manipulative asshole because of the trauma from his brother is pretty awesome for his character and work with AW's plot. There are better villains out there(e.g. Shogo Makashima from Psycho-Pass), but these are HARDLY the "worst of the worst".
-While SAO does have flaws here and there, it's mostly well-written(because it has excellent foreshadowing, it's good at addressing rules of the world or explaining how things are possible after an instance of something odd happens, and staying mostly consistent with only a few plot twists(not plot holes. How can you say this for SAO when another MMO anime(Log Horizon) does the exact same thing with 'rules changing' through some mean or another?...) that change up some rules that people thought they knew, develops its main characters, makes sure none of them are flawless, and has engrossing plots), has FAAAAAAAR more strengths than flaws, and no one should be viewed like they're mentally challenged for calling it a masterpiece without any sarcasm behind it, especially since, from what I've seen from the fandom, they have had more concrete and factually right reasons than any of the hatedom(aka the people that make the series sound worse than it is and blatantly lie about some of the characters, like "Kazuto acts like an asshole 99.9% of the time and couldn't give a fuck about a single other character"). And no I don't mean, "It's premise, action scenes, soundtrack, and animation are good. Everything else is shit", like 99.9% of this site's "reviewers". If you're going to repeat "terrible writing", "laughably bad writing", or "poorly-written" like they're going out of style(or like you're in an infinite time loop) at least elaborate for fuck's sake...
Things I Hate Seeing in the Online Anime Community:
-Absurdly gullible sheep: Looking at you, sheep that revere YouTube anime channels as your lords and saviors, even when some information is beyond wrong...*glares at Reki Kawahara's hate group*
-Being unfairly selective about what is fine, and what is unacceptable: Pick a criticism. And then see how people go bipolar at a moment's notice depending on the author.
Gen Urobuchi's series do anything --> Practically all of them are called masterpieces, even monotonous slogs like Fate/Zero's 1st season.
90-95% of popular anime --> Given fair chances, unless it's the author below.
Reki Kawahara's series do, well, anything --> No matter which one, it's labeled as "objectively awful"...People especially love to say this for...
-"Objectively Good/Bad": You can give credit or criticisms based on objective truths, but it's impossible to label something as subjective as preferences in shows as "objectively good/bad", as your subjective opinion is what dictates whether you adore or despise something. It's worse when someone's only "back-up" is "IT'S REALLY, REALLY BAD!"
-People talking shit about SAO or its fandom when they have just as controversial of an anime as one of their favorites or are apart of a much more toxic fandom. You know that idiom, right? "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"...
-Talking crap about other anime to "establish credibility", even when an anime is completely unrelated to the anime being mentioned, or completely irrelevant in any way, shape, or form: This is a non-sequitur incarnate. As someone that HATES logical fallacies for making series reputations better or worse, this makes me livid. Looking at you, MAL trolls that typically use SAO and/or TG for this.
-"Series X is a rip-off of Series Y": I'm done with seeing bullshit like "SAO is a rip-off of .hack//", "ERASED is a rip-off of Steins;Gate", and "BNHA ripped-off Sky High". Did you actually WATCH any of these anime? Because other than premise(i.e. the most basic ideas in stories that aren't exclusive to any one series, like isekai, superhero, or time-travel), all of these are different from the series you claim they're "rip-offs" of. Unless specific details are exactly the same and the copied details are vast in terms of amount, a series isn't a "rip-off" from a single setting or plot point that's done to death.
-Blacklisting anime: Holy...fucking...shit...To say this is running rampant is an understatement...I hate how some anime have become taboo just to talk about WITHOUT HATING IT AND CALLING IT THE DEFINITION OF TRASH nowadays. Examples include SAO, NGNL, AoT, Owari no Seraph, Tokyo Ghoul, Akame ga Kill!, Bleach, Naruto, The Irregular at Magic High School, One Punch Man, any other "transported to a game/RPG-like fantasy world" anime, and basically saying, "You (Pick One:)have shit taste./are a weeaboo./obviously haven't watched any good anime in your life. Get better taste in the future", if someone even remotely likes any of them. Too all people that act like this: Anime isn't a religion! If you act like this, grow the fuck up.
-The Shounen and Seinen/Seinen-like Shounen Biases: Not all Shounen are "edgy", "wish-fulfillment", "immature", "fan service filled" piles of shit that "are all of these when they try to be mature" and can do no right, and not all Seinen or Seinen-like Shounen are "insta-Masterpieces", "always mature", "flawless" gems with no fan service that are better than anything else in this world and can do no wrong.
-Praising or hating an anime or anime character with conjecture: Just look at the receptions for most popular anime in recent years if you don't believe me...It's all too often that an anime is praised or hated when all the person has heard is the opinions of others without seeing the anime and judging for themselves to see if those praises or hate, in their opinion, are deserved or not...
-Baseless criticisms that mean nothing unless the people that use it elaborate: HOW is a character you hate "poorly-written"? WHY do you hate this character? HOW is this character so horrible; both as a person, and as a fictional character? HOW is this character with good morals, and mainly nice worthy of being called "an asshole"? WHY/HOW is this character "bland"? One particular character that I've seen ALL these baseless criticisms used on is none other than my favorite anime character, and practically everyone else on the internet's #1 hated anime character: Kazuto Kirigaya.
-The “Same Author” Bias: Let’s say there was an anime, manga, or light novel. The story was insanely well-fleshed out, there was minimal to no fan service, and the characters were fully developed and characterized. It even had some great life lessons spread throughout it. And let’s assume people don’t know the author, but see the entire thing and love the hell out of it; some going so far as to call it a masterpiece. And then a few minutes after they say that, they find out one of the controversial authors in the anime community(e.g. Reki Kawahara) wrote it, and then they take back everything they just said and start hating it for contrived or completely invalid reasons, or are insanely nit-picky just to make sure that it gets an awful reputation. Then let’s assume the opposite happens with another series: it's considered an absolute train-wreck with mostly valid reasons from the viewers. People hate the hell out of that series for the problems it has, and then they figure out that one of the most praised authors in the anime community(e.g. Gen Urobuchi, an author whose works I love as well) wrote it. Still think they’d be as critical on it once they figured this out?...Not trying to force people to like one author over another(like whatever you want), but it's STILL annoying seeing this bias since it's never giving an author a chance at redemption. For those that know about logical fallacies, this is essentially the genetic fallacy.
-The "It's Popular, so It's Shit" Bias: You'd have to be a hipster just to think this. I know. Popularity ≠ Good Quality. However, it goes the other way as well. Popularity ≠ Bad Quality. Popularity just means it's widely loved and supported; not "it fails in every regard minus in the unimportant categories like sound and animation". In other words, Popularity = There's most likely something that many people love about it, and it's likely going to be the most important categories: story and characters.
-The "Same Studio" Bias: Mindsets and biases like, "Madhouse can do no wrong", and, "A-1 Pictures/Aniplex can do no right", often while people are going into new anime by both of these studios. I always just want to groan when people are like this...Take an anime like HSotD, an anime that is somewhat ridiculed by many for its amount of fan service, and Chaos;Head, an anime that's seriously ridiculed by many because of its plot, characters, and the fact that it's not at all on Steins;Gate's level(haven't seen it myself. Just stating what I've witnessed on this site). What studio is this ecchi-filled anime, and this widely hated anime from the same series as Steins;Gate by? Madhouse. Then take anime like ERASED, Angel Beats!, Fairy Tail, The Seven Deadly Sins, Magi, the Fate franchise, and Your Lie in April, anime that were or still are considered masterpieces for most or all of their run-time. What studio was in charge of making these anime? A-1 Pictures and Aniplex for some, Aniplex and another studio for others. Usual biases I see for these studios? Even Madhouses weaker works still have people defending them, and those by A-1 Pictures/Aniplex are constantly ridiculed because people are almost always looking(or grasping at straws) for things that are "wrong" with them, mostly for the satisfaction of hating on something because it's popular to hate on it because...dopamine, apparently. It doesn't help that people have these biases at full-throttle with EVEN LESS concrete reasons solely because of an anime from 2012 that became the most controversial anime of all time. Not trying to force people to like one studio over another(like whatever you want), but it's STILL annoying seeing these biases since it's never giving a studio a chance at redemption.
-The SAO Hatedom: Nothing specific, just in general. I have absolutely nothing against those that hate or dislike it by using ACTUAL FACTS FROM THE GODDAMN SERIES, and are respectful and calm when giving their negative opinion on it, and RESPECT the positive opinions of the fandom; never resorting to name-calling towards the fans or the author or the series to make themselves think they're "more mature"(e.g. one of my friends here at college). But seriously, this hatedom is home to some of the most immature, absurdly whiny, heartless, insensitive, straight-up illogical, annoying little shits I've ever seen on the internet.
It's always things along the lines of "you have shit taste", "calling it shit would be praising it"(Good god, it sounds like they're trying to be Rachel Alucard with insults like this), "only this anime would deserve such an honor of getting a rating of 0 out of 10", "1-3 out of 10 is too generous", "I like this new anime! Oh, but it's by A-1 Pictures, the same studio that did SAO...Guess I need to consider it a train-wreck now...", "I don't like RWBY. *Hears that a single person on the writing staff likes it* Oh...that explains a lot...RWBY'S A MALE POWER FANTASY NOW!!", "*Popular and loved YouTuber says he really liked it and it was compelling for him, recommending it even, without sarcasm* Let me help you...I can educate you...", "Those that like it obviously don't know what 'good' anime is", "Come back when you've watched 'actually good' anime, like Jojo", "People like you shouldn't be allowed to reproduce and prevent anime from moving forward", "#DestroySAOtoSaveAnime", "The new entry sucks just because it's SAO", so many other ulcer and headache inducing complaints, and personally attacking people. Sometimes it's even death threats...It's like dealing with liberals...
It's literally just a constant stream of demonizing the fandom, the author, and the series itself, and never providing anything just so they can justify being condescending assholes...I guess being mature and providing sources or facts is too much to expect form a Sword Art Online hater that acts like the series is worse than Satan times ∞, and treats the fans like they're less than feces...
-Absurdly Picky Source Material Purists: It's beyond annoying to see people act like an anime's quality compared to the source material quality is like the difference between night and day. It's SUPPOSED to be an adaptation! DO YOU REALLY EXPECT EVERY FUCKING DETAIL TO GET IN THERE?! I think it's only appropriate to get angry when it's bastardized beyond recognition; not when it's following something mostly but a few details are absent or more nuanced in the adaptation. Example: SAO's fandom. General opinion is the anime is an absolute fucking train-wreck while the LN is a masterpiece that makes no mistakes. And keep in mind it follows the source material around 90% of the time.
-Basically any flame-baiting troll or pretentious fuck-wad: I don't need to explain this...These people have given me headaches and stomach cramps just from seeing their bullshit...
Examples of this I've seen for the "same author" bias-
Reki Kawahara: So many people assume all new series or later entries to an existing series are shit from the get-go; without even seeing so much as the 1st episode or reading the 1st chapter. Often look for anything "wrong" with it, often going so far as to fabricate some things just to complain about something(e.g. 1 second after something's addressed, people forget and accuse it of having a plot hole by "not addressing" that addressed-a-second-ago plot point). Often uses words that make the series sound worse than it actually is. In fact, he shows some of the darkest aspects of humanity, just like Urobuchi, and yet what do people say? That he "does it for shock value and fan service"...
Examples of making his work sound worse than it actually is because, fuck it, it's Kawahara:
-Suguha's crush that goes nowhere and isn't romanticized in the slightest -> Insanely romanticized incest.
-Arita becoming stronger, but also being a short and fat main character with nothing idealized about him(ESPECIALLY true for the time he nearly turned into the next Chrome Disaster by use of the Incarnate System). He just has a unique ability to truly fly in Brain Burst's world because abilities and the color of a player's avatar in Brain Burst are determined by a person's internal emotional trauma and he wanted "to fly away from it all" since he has a pretty god-awful school-life and his parents don't exactly care too much about him(mainly given in LN), just like Chiyuri's unique ability to reverse time is a result of her own emotional trouble of "wanting things to go back to the way they were for her, Takumu, and Arita's friendship" that appears at first to look like healing. -> Romanticizing being fat to "feed the egos of fat and ugly whores". Arita's a "special snowflake" because of his Aviation ability(i.e. being able to fly).
-Kozuki Yuniko trying to get on Kuroyukihime's nerves by being all flirty with Arita, but actually REALLY despises him -> "ACCEL WORLD IS A HAREM GUIZ!!".
-SAO's girl characters have the same or similar faces(SOMETHING THAT EVEN STUDIO GHIBLI DOES), something so many anime do for character designs it's almost a cliché at this point, and even then it's because of the artists that do the illustrations, not the author that writes the material. -> Sexist...for some reason...
-Asuna is in a terrifying situation involving Sugou and Sugou is mutilated in-game before he does anything to truly violate her -> Rape "actually happened", it's romanticizing it, and used as fan service...
-Kirito landing a light saber slash on Death Gun, using his dying in-game body's last few seconds of life to kill Heathcliff(Which was him nearly bursting into shards, but using his last remaining seconds of life, and that "death" was just a sequence in his head that parallels his "death" by a boar in episode 1(that I'm sure delusional haters would call "a plot hole" since they're so brain-dead that they'd take any obvious inner thoughts sequence as "it happened in reality"...)...yet is considered "the power of wuv", despite there actually being an explanation behind the game breaks, and isn't even one of them, and Kawahara doing a similar "human will overcoming system boundaries" thing in the past with Accel World's Incarnate System), or the electrode preventing the poison from entering his body, even though the electrode one in particular is not an unsolvable or hopeless situation -> Deus ex Machina
-Either of his series have a MINISULE AMOUNT of fan service(e.g. SAO Season 1: 3 minutes and 31 seconds(3:31)). The fan service includes infrequent bra or panty shots(at least 1 for Accel World, 5 across 2 seasons of SAO(6 if you include Extra Edition)), some boobs/cleavage shots, awkward butt or boob camera angles that are never mentioned in the source material, at least 1 bath/shower scene(that may or may not have ecchi misunderstandings), risqué humor(e.g. Rika groping Suguha in Extra Edition, something not in the LN but still canon), and at least 1 jiggle physics scene. -> Called borderline hentai, labeled as "softcore porn", and having too many claims that the girl characters are "vastly over-sexualized", ignoring ANY characterization or development they had(e.g. Sinon's background, her struggles, and determination to recover from her PTSD. Asuna with her background, her personal struggles, and her new lifestyle goal after meeting Yuuki Konno), and "aren't strong female characters because of the fan service". Yeah, because
JUSTLY HIGHLY-ACCLAIMED AND WELL-WRITTEN ANIME
WITH STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS!!
I mean, it's not like these are THE EXACT SAME THING!!
Seriously...it's an unjustified double-standard at its worst...
(Note on the fan service one: I love and have completed all of these anime, so I know what the fuck I'm talking about, and I consider literally all of these girl characters to be strong in one or many ways and well-written. No matter how you spin it to demonize Reki Kawahara, it's still not going to change that these are mostly useless/tasteless fan service scenes with younger teen to adult girl characters that are considered strong by too many people to count, and THEY are never labeled as "over-sexualized" and "not strong female characters because they have fan service scenes".)
Jun Maeda: Half assume the best of the series before seeing it, the other assume the worst before seeing it. The reasons? Because for every story he makes that's considered a masterpiece(Angel Beats! and Clannad: After Story), there's an equal amount of stories he makes that have become controversial(1st Clannad anime and Charlotte).
Gen Urobuchi: Most people assume the new series are masterpieces from the get-go(because of anime like Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass, and Fate/Zero), but it's starting to waver a little from some anime with controversial reputations with him as the writer(because of Psycho-Pass 2 and Aldnoah.Zero). I'll admit, his anime do usually range from deserving great to masterpiece status, in my opinion(My favorites being Psycho-Pass(9 out of 10) and Madoka Magica(10 out of 10)), and are usually well-written, but this doesn't mean his anime don't sometimes have moments that people would consider flaws in other series(e.g. rape in the 1st episode of Psycho-Pass. If it was any other author, especially the most shat upon one listed above, all of you would consider it horseshit and possibly "fan service"(I'm concerned for you if you consider rape "fan service") that makes the series deserving of 1 out of 10. Since it's by Gen Urobuchi however, you immediately shift to "IT'S SO MATURE!!! 10 OUT OF 10" instantly.).
My thoughts on good characterization/character development include(but aren't limited to): backgrounds of characters, being able to relate to them, charisma of the character, clear strengths and weaknesses(both in personality and physical), and clear growth in personality or physically. Every character in any fictional series EVER has at least one archetype with them, so if I see an archetype in a character, I usually don't bash it. I do not consider normal backgrounds(such as the backgrounds of Kazuto Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki) to be "bland". They just have to be detailed enough and work with the anime.
Fan service/sexual content(i.e. swimsuits, boobs, underwear(mostly female)) doesn't bother me most of the time(sometimes gets VERY distasteful). In fact, I think it can really add to intimacy in romance anime if done well, like episode 10 of SAO. Also, sometimes it's used for humor, and it can even be kind of adorable.
My thoughts on both parts of character development in its full sense(character development and characterization): Character development(i.e. significant changes) in the season a character is introduced is optional(though appreciated if it's shown sooner than later), characterization(i.e. personality, fears, etc.) in that season is mandatory.
I'd consider myself an anime enthusiast and somewhat of a critic, though I don't know if others would consider me that. I'll admit I can be kind of a dick with how I present my thoughts, but it's typically towards bullshit controversies and the assholes that cause them. My absolute favorite anime is Sword Art Online(aka Scape Goat Online, considering all the unfair criticisms, bashing tropes(things used in every anime in existence), and double standards). Noragami is my 2nd favorite, and DAMN was that an amazing anime!
Not saying SAO is flawless, but there is often zero discussion, and irrational bullshit said about it. Seriously...people act like it's a crime to so much as compliment the series on anything that isn't the animation, premise, or soundtrack, and treat those that even slightly like the series with so much resentment that I'm starting to suspect this will eventually become a new form of segregation that will become a serious issue(like racism)...Hell, it basically already is with the treatment I've seen, like death threats, thinking less of people just based on what they like(especially if it's SAO), and plenty of other crap like this...
My favorite normal tracks in anime include Decretum(PMMM), Luminous Sword(SAO), Swordland(SAO), and The King's Plan(NGNL).
My favorite opening themes in anime include Crossing Field(SAO), Guren no Yumiya(AoT), This Game(NGNL), and Hacking to the Gate(Steins;Gate).
I'm an extreme Yuki Kajiura fanboy when it comes to her music. Sword Art Online and Madoka Magica's soundtracks are, in my opinion, some of her best work. Though, being serious here, I think these works shine in their stories and characters.
My favorite genres of anime are Fantasy, Action, Romance, and Comedy. I don't mind ecchi, but it isn't something I usually seek in anime. When a story and characters are fantastic, the less ecchi, the better.
I CAN'T STAND terrible treatment of fans for liking anime others don't like. This includes bashing people's tastes in anime, maturity, intelligence, etc., etc.
I'm overly analytical when it comes to series I love. I've reflected on and analyzed SAO, Madoka Magica, and Steins;Gate quite a bit, and I've tried to find all their hidden meanings, life lessons, deeper messages, and maybe even some symbolism. Trust me, there are A LOT!
Just so everyone knows: I HATE bandwagoned hatred for anime series, especially for SAO, Accel World, Tokyo Ghoul, Charlotte, ERASED, and NGNL. I'm really hoping it doesn't go any further for BNHA, as I'm beginning to see the warning signs.
It is only if their personality is so uninteresting that drying paint would be more interesting than them that I'd ever consider a character "bland".
Warning: Enormous salty rant ahead regarding a lot of shit that I've seen involving Sword Art Online's flame wars(This may offend people since I'm fed up with a lot of the shit in the anime community regarding this, so click at your own risk):
Before I begin, let me say something: Don't, under any circumstance, treat people horribly just based off of what series they like. I've seen this far too much from the hatedom of my favorite series, and, quite frankly, it pisses me off and disgusts me. I won't be merciful to people that act that way.
I've heard at least a handful of people say SAO is the best example of "everything wrong with anime". I completely disagree here because 1.) an enormous amount of the anime community is hating it for what many other anime that they love do(such as complaining about 3 minutes and 31 seconds of fan service for Season 1, yet letting Kill la Kill and other ecchi anime off the hook), 2.) there has been ZERO criteria for calling it that other than personal(insanely malice filled) hate, and 3.) it's home to some of the most inane, malformed complaints I've ever witnessed(about 90% of them make 0 sense). If anything, it serves to show just how far a series can be used as a scapegoat, A PROBLEM WITH A LACK OF RESPECT IN THE ANIME COMMUNITY AND FLAME WARS, and how easily people can be influenced by bandwagoned opinion.
Just because people talk shit about an anime that became fun to hate doesn't mean "they're factually true", so keep the links to Gigguk, GRArkada, Mother's Basement, and Digibro's rants on my favorite series out of my comments. I've seen both Gigguk and Arkada's reviews(same hive-mind criticisms as the troll reviewers on this site), and I've heard from more credible people that both Digibro and MB IGNORE INFORMATION BLATANTLY GIVEN, lie, intentionally misrepresent things, use logical fallacies(often straw-man arguments), and even contradict themselves. They even attack a person's maturity or comprehension of stories if they justly disagree with them(Oh look! Ad Hominem!), and Digibro even admitted that his video was inaccurate, saying it was one half-attentive watch through. I'll delete these comments immediately if you do this.
I just want to get this out there. It's really annoying me with the "official prayer", or "broken record player" criticisms of the SAO anti-fan base such as:
Mary Sue Protagonists: Kirito and Asuna go through some serious shit together, clearly have their limits, absurdly obvious human flaws(Kazuto's sensitivity, leading to horrible guilt when he does morally-gray things, overconfidence, and self-doubt, and Asuna's inability to speak her mind when faced with legitimate authority(her mother and Heathcliff in this case), short temper, and is easily influenced by her emotions), and, hell, even admit to their weakness in Episode 24 of Season 1(for Kirito), and Episode 19 Season 2(for Asuna). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that. Deny all you want, but this is a fact due to the amount of flaws and failings they have: Kirito and Asuna aren't even remotely "Mary Sue" protagonists. In fact, I've heard Katsuki Bakugou, a character that's so obviously flawed that's disliked even by his classmates, was called this, so it's basically a buzzword at this point that people use because "I dislike the character, so I'm going to be a whiny little bitch about it".
What's especially bothersome is that, from what I understand from seeing this trope at the TV Tropes website, a "Mary Sue/Gary Stu" doesn't exactly have an agreed on definition, save for the lacking flaws or self-insert things. Kawahara has said he doesn't put himself in his characters, and Kirito and Asuna are so obviously humanly flawed that the only people that would call them these are those that haven't read/seen the fucking series!!
Forced Love: Knowing each other for 2 years, emotionally connecting multiple times, sharing thoughts about the world of Aincrad, and interacting on nearly every occasion is FAR from "forced". If you still want to argue this, I'm all ears. Just don't expect me to go down easily, as I know Season 1 like the back of my hand and the light novels are helping prove my point.
Plot Holes Everywhere:.....that no one ever mentions. And despite it staying fairly consistent...seriously, all I've heard is "THERE ARE PLOT HOLES EVERYWHERE" and next to no explanation or calling really small points "huge points that you can drive a truck through". Hell, people are now even claiming things that were totally explained in the anime are plot holes. Do you know what a plot hole is? It's an inconsistency, missing, yet relevant, information, or things that make next to no sense that are never explained.
The only ones I've seen have been waiting until Episode 13 to vaguely address the "2 hour time limit before brain-frying" in Season 1, and two contradictory lines to events or rules in the ENGLISH DUB of Season 2 (the English subs didn't have these contradictory lines).
No Strong Female Leads: Oh, I see...so a girl character has to be devoid of emotion, make no mistakes, have no flaws, and swing a sword around to be considered a "strong female character". Because there totally isn't strength in will-power, like Asuna and Sinon clearly show, and TRULY their not bad-asses anymore solely because Kirito's existence inherently ruins everything!! NEWSFLASH!! Strong female character doesn't mean "I'm a bad-ass", it means "well-written". And yes, I consider Asuna and Sinon to be both of what I mentioned. Sue me.
Misogyny, so often that it's basically supporting it: Excuse me? Minus the two or three instances of those where those guys got punished, when else does this happen? Saying that SAO is supporting it "constantly" from 2-3 PUNISHED INSTANCES is like saying PMMM supported it because of the guys that Sayaka killed in episode 8. The guild/party complications with Asuna and Leafa were because their guild/party would lose a valuable member; not "because they're girls and thus are basically items they can use at any time". Honestly, this sounds like something a femi-nazi would say...Nothing against those supporting equal rights and I can totally understand it with Sugou and Grimlock(since they were possessive assholes), but going so far as to say the entire series is misogynistic because some girl characters have moments of weakness, a few guild complications, Asuna just happening to enjoy cooking out of her own interest(as Episode 2 clearly set it up with Kazuto showing her that there are a lot of stuff to enjoy in Aincrad, like cooking delicious meals as opposed to dealing with sub-par food, which was before she fell for Kazuto), and maybe needing help ONE TIME from a guy is complete BS. If you're really all about equality, you wouldn't get so upset at a girl needing help ONE TIME from a guy, especially since about 90% of anime have something like that, including anime widely regarded as masterpieces.
Also, what's this crap I'm hearing about "because the girls have similar or the same faces, that means it's sexist"?
1.) Faces aren't all to a character's design, 2.) some of the younger guy characters have it too, if you didn't notice(just look at Kazuto, Jun, and Kyouji),
and 3.) "same/similar face syndrome" for girl characters didn't start with this series, people...and it isn't "inherently sexist"...Some other examples include:
the Fate series
and several others. It's an art-style choice from the artist; not a misogynistic jab that's sexist because reasons. Is it lazy? Arguably, yes. Do varied character designs help a series? Absolutely. Is having similar to the same faces between characters sexist? No...how the FUCK did you even reach that conclusion?!...
Masturbatory Male Power Fantasy/Wish-fulfillment: 1.) Several other anime have just as OP characters, 2.) Kazuto has plenty of limits and flaws, and 3.) yeah, dealing with depression, guilt, and seeing people die right in front of you reeeeally sounds like something everyone would want to experience and jack-off to...
No Character Development/Characterization, bland and personality-less characters with seriously no depth, or Insanely Weak Characters(in terms of development or focus, not physical strength): 1.) "Bland" is subjective(I know, I know, this word is practically any troll MAL user/"superior taste" ego-wanker's trigger word), and people usually use this for characters with normal backgrounds. I don't get why people are saying this for these characters, considering that they consider characters from Steins;Gate, Noragami, Psycho-Pass, and pretty much every popular anime to be abysmally deep as characters, completely relatable or believable, and fully three-dimensional(and I agree, most of those character ARE three-dimensional(the only one I currently disagree on is Attack on Titan, so if you want to discuss, I'm all ears)). As someone who has seen all of these anime AND Sword Art Online, I have to say that Kazuto, Asuna, Sinon, Yuuki, and Suguha are pretty darn good. Not only in personality, but also believable backgrounds. Speaking of personality or rather the claims of "lack of personality"...
2.) Those personality-less and no depth as characters statements aren't even close to true.
a.) Regarding Kazuto Kirigaya: How is being kind of introverted, but sometimes outgoing, reclusive, addicted to battle, dorky(more so in the light novel), but also kind-hearted "personality-less", and how is having a goal to create an augmented reality interface "no depth"?
b.) Regarding Asuna Yuuki: How can you say she has no personality, and yet still call her a "generic Tsundere" if being a Tsundere dictates HAVING A PERSONALITY? That's not only contradictory, but it also ignores her determined side, her short temper, her strength in will, and her lifestyle goal she adopts after meeting Yuuki. Not to mention she's LESS Tsundere than most out there. Seriously...even Makise Kurisu, a highly regarded female character that many people, including me, consider well-written, strong, and depth-filled, is a more obvious Tsundere than she is...Not to shit on Steins;Gate(3rd favorite anime, and it deserves masterpiece status), but it seems awfully hypocritical when Makise's background and goals are just as normal as Asuna Yuuki's, and she's a Tsundere as well, yet only Asuna is the only one that gets flamed and bashed into hell for it.
c.) Regarding Shino Asada: Surviving PTSD victim? Determined? Absolute bad-ass? Literally what the fuck is all this hate towards her about? Oh wait...it's just because it's SAO, isn't it?...Persecution at its finest...
d.) Regarding Suguha: Being a bit rude, yet caring, upbeat, and supportive is "no personality"? Get that stick out of your ass, I wish you'd stop demoting her to the "Imouto/incest" archetype because of a CRUSH THAT WENT NOWHERE, and I really hate seeing people undervalue her complicated relationship with Kazuto.
3.) From what I've witnessed, both in anime and light novel, they act more like humans than fictional characters. Personal judgment, yes, but I at least have some damn reasons, unlike nearly half this site's users.
4.) Perhaps the character progression can be considered "harder to see" compared to some anime, as this uses time-skips frequently during the Aincrad arc, but it's fully there for the main characters. Hell, even the side characters get some pretty OK backgrounds before they're sidelined. Whether character development is "good" or "bad" is subjective. Whether the character development was actually there is more along the lines of an objective truth about the series rather than a subjective interpretation.
For example, what if someone said, "Noragami has no character development or characterization", yet the anime, in fact, DOES address Yato's background, promises to introduce more characters' backgrounds in later seasons(like it did with Bishamon in Aragoto, and what it will do for Hiyori in later seasons, assuming it will be adapted faithfully to the manga), has Yukine going from a little delinquent to a mostly respectful regalia and a stand-up person, and has development in the relationship between Hiyori, Yukine, and Yato? Would you still believe the claim that, "Noragami has no character development"?
If you said, "You wouldn't believe it, considering the facts about the anime", then WHY THE HELL are you believing it with the biggest anime scapegoat ever(i.e. SAO)? The anime clearly addresses the backgrounds of Kirito, Suguha, Shino, Asuna, and Yuuki, Kazuto gains a new view on the virtual world from all of his adventures through the full-dive MMOs, it gives extremely simple depth(like what their guilds' backstories are, or profession, as is the case for Lisbeth) for the flatter side characters, to say the mains don't go through any changes(aka character development) would be a lie, though it may seem a little rushed in the anime compared to the light novel, there's development for Kirito and Asuna's relationship, and enough of the mains have their own goals. Still think that "there's no character development or characterization"?
Look, I admit it's better in the light novels. I admit not every single character shown is fully realized(most anime don't have an entire cast(i.e. every single character; even the side characters) of fully realized characters. To set such an impossibly high standard that no anime series could ever achieve for this anime is ridiculous). But to say the anime has 0 of it and the light novels deserve the same complaint BECAUSE OF THE ANIME...that...is bullshit...
Incest: It's a crush that goes nowhere. Accept that you're wrong, anti-fans. No amount of anti-fanboying is going to disprove the facts that are RIGHT THERE.
Harem: A harem implies they are constantly fighting over him, he’s indecisive, and they’re constantly trying to seduce him, all of which never happen. Talking about him normally, like "how did you guys meet?" from Extra Edition, is not "fawning over him". And even then it's only, like, 3 girl characters, with two giving up after a day or a few days because it's either 1.) a day long crush that resulted from loneliness and finding something real in a virtual world, or 2.) KNOWING THAT IT'S MORALLY WRONG. Again, accept you're wrong, haters. Just because you say it has "incest" doesn't mean it's true, and it's admittedly pathetic that people are believing you solely because "I hate this series :D" rather than from actually having any facts.
If SAO is a harem from something so underplayed, that means Parasyte -the maxim-, Steins;Gate, and every other series with girl characters that are either in close proximity to the main guy protagonist or have a crush to straight-up loving the guy, with it hardly being the main focus of the series, are harems as well. <-- (Bring it on. You can't deny that there were a few girls that had a crush on Okabe or Shinichi) And we all know how much you want to consider these anime "harems". (-_-") Hell, even Log Horizon has it with Soujiro's actual one, and a similar underplayed element with Shiroe.
"All style, no substance":
-Exploration into the psychological effects on individuals from virtual reality and reality coming closer together(Shino and Kazuto's PTSD, the creation of separate personas when they're in the virtual world, etc.).
-The theme of identity in the 2nd season, such as Shino and Sinon basically being two separate entities of the same person for most of Phantom Bullet, Shino and Kazuto still considering the sniper or swordsman part of themselves a part of their identity, even though they’re just normal teenagers in real-life, the difference between Asuna in death game Aincrad and real-life, etc.
-The blurring of reality and fantasy-Shown in every arc thus far.
-The ethics of what is done in the virtual world when reality and virtual reality are so close together. For example: Killing in death-game Aincrad. It's not just "playing the bad guy in a game" anymore. It's actual murder.
-The benefits and drawbacks of the virtual and real-world coming together.
-There are always positives, despite how negative something may seem-The entire Aincrad arc
-It isn't wrong to beat yourself up over something you did that could be considered in the "morally grey" area, but you also have a right to see how your actions have had a positive impact on the world-There is literally a line of dialogue along these lines in Phantom Bullet. Also, this is seen by Kazuto actions in Aincrad, and Sinon's actions that saved not only someone in immediate danger, but their child that was not yet born at the time.
-PTSD...It literally covered PTSD in a realistic AND respectful way, and had Sinon use exposure therapy as her way to cope with it...Just "because it's Sword Art Online" suddenly it makes this subject being tackled "shit"?...And yet if it was any other anime, you all would consider it a fucking masterpiece...
-No one's life is pointless-Every single arc, ESPECIALLY MOTHER'S ROSARIO
Yeah...really substance-less here...not. Are all of these criticisms that are mostly filled with lies just an attempt to make most of you people "look cooler"?
As for the "used for fan service" shit: Is that what you call Asuna being terrified, Kazuto being livid, and a scene being portrayed as more scary and disturbing than anything else? Wow...you must be a sadist! :D
Generic: 1st: Generic complaint is generic by calling it generic without elaborating why it's generic. 2nd: I'd hardly call a "trapped in a game" series that dives into what's real when VR and reality are so close together to be "generic".
I've dealt with this hatedom for years, so try and prove me wrong, you shit-stains.