Judging art’s quality by objective metrics can be quite challenging. When it comes to entertainment, people are entitled to their own subjective opinions. It might be hard for critics to grasp why the viewers gravitate to factually poor media, yet the objective quality is not the only thing that determines a movie’s success with the masses.
As a medium, anime often targets niche communities, and their enjoyment of certain anime films can be extremely biased. While critics may hate some of anime’s cult classics, their fans remain devoted to their favorite movies despite their objective flaws. In entertainment, the critical consensus doesn’t always align with the audiences’ perspective, and these anime movies became fan favorites despite being hated by the critics.
10 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid Of Light’s Hilariously Bad Dub Made It An Unintentional Comedy Gem
The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise had its fair share of ups and downs over the years, yet it remains a nostalgic classic despite the show’s cheesy writing and hilariously bad yet iconic 4Kids dub. The studio that brought the original series to the West is also responsible for the first movie in the franchise released outside Japan, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light.
Often considered the worst anime movie produced by 4Kids, this “so bad that it’s good” classic brings back the corny dialogue and nonsensical plot of the original and takes it even further, leaving the critics raging and the audiences endlessly entertained.
9 Midori Couldn’t Enter The Mainstream Scene Due To Its Taboo Contents
The 1992 ero guro cult-classic film Midori was an exclusive vision of Hiroshi Harada, who created the movie almost entirely by himself. Due to the film’s extremely graphic nature and controversial contents, it had no sponsors and wasn’t received warmly by critics.
Its notorious history includes bans in almost every country, even its homeland, Japan. However, Midori quickly became an iconic and highly sought-after artistic piece, earning an impressive cult following. While not for the squeamish, this legendary gore masterpiece found its audience in the undergrounds of the anime community.
8 One Piece Film: Gold Was Too Predictable For The Critics
One Piece films have a divisive reputation in the fan community, with some of them, like Film: Z or Movie 6, earning both critical acclaim and the community’s love, while others do no good for the franchise and end up forgotten.
One Piece Film: Gold, the 13th movie in the line, was nothing revolutionary, earning unenthusiastic critical reviews due to its generic, formulaic plot. However, the movie’s eccentric central location, Gran Tesoro, helped to win the fans over, who got exactly what they expected from Gold and were not disappointed.
7 Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple Made Preexisting Fans Its Target Audience
Anime based on existing franchises yet not related to the series’ overarching plot is usually a hit or miss with both the fans and the critics. While dedicated fans are more likely to forgive their beloved title for objective flaws, critics are often way harsher in their judgment.
In the case of Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, a feature based on the popular supernatural action series, fans were ecstatic to see their favorite characters on the big screen. However, critics were disappointed with the movie’s predictable plot, finding the film inferior to its original.
6 Neon Genesis Evangelion Reboot Saga Received Mixed Reviews
As one of the most influential mecha franchises of all time, Neon Genesis Evangelion has myriads of diehard fans. Yet, even some of the most devoted of them were dissatisfied with the original anime’s finale.
So, when Hideaki Anno started working on his reboot film series, both fans and critics were excited to see Shinji’s iconic story get the ending it deserved. Yet, not everyone was satisfied with the results. While Evangelion reboots are beloved by the community, critics cannot agree about their objective quality, with the majority finding the movies even more incomprehensible and needlessly confusing than the TV series.
5 Girls und Panzer: The Movie Proves Once Again That Critics Don’t Understand The Appeal Of Moe Anime
The appeal of moe anime has always escaped professional critics, so it’s not surprising that one of the most extravagant and bizarre moe franchises in anime, Girls und Panzer, was never a critical success. Despite its niche appeal, the “cute girls riding tanks” formula attracted a massive fan following, and Girls und Panzer: The Movie was no different.
Targeting the same audience as the original TV anime, the feature film didn’t strive to become the new sophisticated classic for the critics. Instead, it brought the exciting experience fans were looking for in the franchise to the big screen.
4 Space Transformers Is An Iconic Treasure Of Entertainingly Awful Anime Films
Diatron-5, more commonly known as Space Transformers, is an almost forgotten cult classic movie that became iconic due to its hilariously ridiculous writing and comically bad voice acting.
This South Korean anime film focuses on a group of mecha pilots shrinking to microscopic size and invading the body of a cyborg woman named Ivy to save her from invading viruses. Shocking every righteous critic, fans of hilariously awful anime adore Space Transformers as one of the most outrageous examples of this niche subcategory of entertainment.
3 Bubble’s Preeminent Creative Team Wasn’t Enough To Win The Critics Over
The 2022 sci-fi anime film Bubble had an impressive team of creators behind it. Attack on Titan’s Wit Studio pulled all of its top-tier talents on board, including director Tetsuro Araki, acclaimed screenwriter Gen Urobuchi, and fan-favorite composer Hiroyuki Sawano.
For the fans, this lineup of top-notch artists was enough to glue them to the screen. However, critics were a lot harder to please. Professional reviews indicate that the movie lacked focus, more concerned with over-the-top audio-visual experience than with telling a compelling, cohesive story.
2 Fireworks Did Not Live Up To The Critics’ Sky-High Expectations
High expectations don’t always pay off, as evident by the mixed perception of Fireworks, one of the most anticipated anime movies of 2017. Even before the film was released, both fans and critics were blown away by its gorgeous animation and incredible soundtrack, with the movie’s theme song, Uchiage Hanabi by Daoko, blowing up on YouTube.
While the fans enjoyed the movie tremendously upon its release, critics were disappointed by the shallowness of this summer romance flick, pointing out the inconsistencies in the animation quality and lacking characterization.
1 Digimon: The Movie Pulled Impressive Box Office Numbers Despite Negative Critical Reviews
In the eyes of the critics, the Digimon franchise is compared to Pokémon too often. However, the fans believe the two could not be more different. This gap between the critical perception and fan response is the most obvious in the reviews of Digimon: The Movie, a 2000 film that ties together three adventures of Kari Kamiya and her friends.
The movie received overwhelmingly negative critical commentary, with most reviews comparing the franchise to its more popular counterpart without recognizing Digimon as a separate entity. Nevertheless, Digimon: The Movie was a box office success, backed by dedicated fans.
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