10 Anime with Strong Storyline Hindered by Poor Animation

Among the wide range of anime available, there are those with exceptional storylines that captivate audiences with their well-developed characters, complex plots, and profound messages. However, amidst the plethora of anime options, some series may disappoint with their subpar animation despite having a great story.

Despite receiving praise for their gripping storylines, popular anime series such as Tokyo Ghoul: Re and Berserk have faced backlash for their subpar animation. These examples demonstrate how the visual aspect can sometimes hinder an otherwise exceptional viewing experience for anime fans. From long-standing franchises like Overlord to recent releases, these shows showcase the impact of animation on overall reception.

While examining the connection between storytelling and animation, the focus is on the challenges faced by creators in finding a balance between visual attractiveness and narrative complexity. Below is a compilation of anime that possess strong storylines but are hindered by subpar animation.

This article expresses the writer’s personal opinion and is not listed in any particular order.

Anime with Great Stories Weighed Down by Awful Animation

Berserk (2016)

Berserk (2016) (Image via GEMBA, Millepensee, Liden Films)
Berserk (2016) (Image via GEMBA, Millepensee, Liden Films)

Despite its intense storyline and deep characters, the dark fantasy series Berserk has failed to live up to its legacy with its 2016 anime adaptation. Fans have been captivated by the original manga by Kentaro Miura for decades, praising its intricate artwork and gripping narrative.

Despite being a major point of contention, CGI was a significant issue as it led to awkward character movements and a jarring visual style that clashed with the series’s dark tone. This was particularly disappointing for fans, as they believed that Berserk deserved an animation style that could effectively convey the emotional depth and brutal combat present in the story. It was widely considered to be one of the anime with exceptional storytelling.

The awkward movements of the characters give them an unintended comical appearance, as seen in one scene where Guts appears to be propelled forward while walking. Despite the supposed intensity of the fight between Guts and Grunbeld, its execution is so lackluster that it fails to be taken seriously.

Anime Series: xxxHolic

xxxHolic (Image via Production I.G)
xxxHolic (Image via Production I.G)

The artistic style of CLAMP has consistently divided opinions, drawing in devoted fans while also turning others away. xxxHolic, a supernatural series, explores Japanese mythology through interconnected episodes that follow a central storyline.

Following Kimihiro Watanuki, a high schooler with the ability to see spirits, this anime presents great stories that delve into the realm of supernatural phenomena with a blend of humor and melancholy.

Despite its unique art style and captivating storytelling, the animation of this work is frequently criticized for its clumsy execution and unappealing character designs. The exaggerated proportions and long limbs, which are characteristic of CLAMP’s style, were not properly animated, leading to repetitive scenes and stiff movements. This was a major disappointment for fans of the manga, as the animation quality did not do justice to the original work.

3. Junji Ito Collection

Junji Ito Collection (Image via Studio Deen)
Junji Ito Collection (Image via Studio Deen)

Despite being considered some of the most revered horror manga of all time, Junji Ito’s nightmarish works, including Uzumaki and The Enigma of Amigara Fault, did not translate successfully into the anime adaptation of several of his short stories. Fans were highly anticipatory of the anime, hoping for an equally chilling experience, but unfortunately, the Junji Ito Collection failed to capture the essence that made the original manga so iconic.

The difficulty in bringing Junji Ito’s work to life is in accurately capturing the intricacy of his detailed art and expertly crafted panels, which are crucial to the unsettling nature of his stories. Studio Deen faced this daunting challenge, but their adaptation fell short in doing justice to Ito’s unique style.

Despite its flaws, the effort showcases the inherent challenge in adapting such a distinctive and visually intricate horror story into an animated form.

Seven Deadly Sins: Imperial Wrath of the Gods

Seven Deadly Sins (Image via Deen Studio)
Seven Deadly Sins (Image via Deen Studio)

Despite being an anime with a captivating storyline and well-developed characters, The Seven Deadly Sins faced criticism during its Imperial Wrath of the Gods season for its subpar animation quality. Nevertheless, it remains a beloved series among fans for its thrilling tale of a group of knights fighting against demonic forces and uncovering hidden conspiracies.

The transition from A-1 Pictures to Studio Deen and substantial budget reductions resulted in subpar visuals. The previously smooth action sequences became rigid and clumsy, and the intricate character designs lost their charm.

Fans were vocal with their disappointment, stating that the animation failed to capture the intensity of the battles. The final showdown between Escanor and Meliodas was especially disappointing, as the subpar animation failed to convey the emotional moments that were crucial to the story.

Overload (season 3)

Overload Season 3, Episode 6 (Image Via Madhouse)
Overload Season 3, Episode 6 (Image Via Madhouse)

The popularity of Overlord stems from its captivating storyline, which follows the journey of Momonga, a player who becomes trapped within his game character in a virtual world and is determined to conquer it. This anime has gained acclaim for its original plot and well-developed characters, solidifying its place as one of the most highly-regarded series with exceptional storytelling.

Despite using CGI for grand battle sequences, season three received backlash for its animation quality. The use of CGI did not meet expectations, as it lacked the finesse and detail typically seen in traditional animation. Viewers were disappointed by the rigid and awkward motions of the CGI elements, which took away from the grandeur of the battles.

Despite the captivating story and characters of Overlord, fans were left disappointed with the introduction of Einz summoning the five Young Ones. These CGI goat demons with tentacles felt more appropriate for a dream sequence rather than the main narrative, highlighting the contrast between the narrative’s excellence and the execution of the animation. Despite these flaws, fans remained engaged with the story, further emphasizing the strong appeal of the narrative.

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super (Image via Toel Animation)
Dragon Ball Super (Image via Toel Animation)

Dragon Ball Super continues the tradition of showcasing Goku and his allies, introducing new plotlines featuring powerful enemies, epic fights, and thrilling transformations. One of its most notable arcs is the Universe Survival Saga, highlighted by the intense Tournament of Power, which adds an unprecedented level of suspense and solidifies its place as one of the top anime with captivating storylines.

Despite its initial episodes, the series faced criticism for its animation inconsistencies, particularly in its use of off-model character designs and lack of fluidity in fight scenes. This was a disappointment for fans who were used to the high standards set by previous Dragon Ball adaptations.

Despite the ongoing discourse among enthusiasts, the disparity has sparked debates about the series’ animation quality and how it affects the viewer experience.

Tokyo Ghoul: Re

Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Image via Pierrot)
Tokyo Ghoul: Re (Image via Pierrot)

Despite its initial success in exploring the conflict between humans and ghouls, Tokyo Ghoul: re Season 2 received significant backlash for its rushed pacing and inconsistent animation. Key action scenes and emotionally charged moments suffered from low-quality animation, particularly in crucial episodes, leading to notable criticism.

Despite being considered among anime with great stories, fans were disappointed by the animation issues that took away from the dramatic tension and emotional impact of the story. The visual execution in this season did not meet expectations.

Despite some moments of good animation, both series heavily relied on quick cuts and zooming techniques to compensate for limited character animation, resulting in many scenes feeling like slideshows rather than fully animated sequences. As a result, the overall viewing experience left much to be desired.

Kingdoms of the World

Kingdom (Image via Pierrot)
Kingdom (Image via Pierrot)

Kingdom is renowned as one of the top seinen manga of all time, solidifying its position as an anime with a captivating storyline. It took some time for the series to receive the well-deserved anime adaptation. The plot centers around Xin, an orphan of war who strives to attain the title of the greatest general during China’s Warring States era. Although the animation quality is impressive at moments, fans vehemently express their distaste for the use of CGI.

Despite its best efforts, Kingdom, like many other anime, struggles to seamlessly incorporate CGI into its battles without compromising the animation quality. As a result, the CGI often gives a stiff and unnatural appearance to the crucial battles in the series.

Thankfully, the CGI moments are short-lived and do not detract from the overall viewing experience. Fans especially enjoy the reintroduction of classic 2D animation, as it showcases intricate and action-packed fight scenes that add to the series’ charm.

9. Dororo

Dororo (image via MAPPA and Tezuka Productions)
Dororo (image via MAPPA and Tezuka Productions)

Despite initially impressing audiences with its engaging story and high-quality animation, the remake of Dororo experienced a noticeable decline in subsequent episodes, particularly in episode 15, titled The Story of the Scene From Hell.

Despite a few standout fight scenes, the overall animation quality in this instance notably decreased, resembling more of a hastily put together flipbook than a well-crafted sequence. The final confrontation, along with other scenes, lacked the refinement and attention to detail seen in previous episodes. Even the protagonist, Hyakkimaru, appeared stiff and out of sync in a particular scene where he ran through the woods.

Despite being known for its compelling narrative and strong character development, the series disappointed fans with subpar animation in various action sequences. These scenes were characterized by jerky movements and lacking attention to detail, further detracting from the consistent quality that viewers had come to expect.

10. Arifureta

Arifureta (Image via Asread White Fox)
Arifureta (Image via Asread White Fox)

Despite being adapted from acclaimed light novels, Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest is a prime example of how poor animation can detract from an otherwise great storytelling. The series received criticism for its abysmal animation quality and disjointed narrative, with viewers expressing disappointment in the lack of context in the first episode and the slow pacing and underdeveloped characters.

Despite receiving some praise for its sound design, the anime was largely met with negative reviews and was often referred to as a “dumpster fire.”This is in stark contrast to the high acclaim and popularity of the original novels, which are known for their complex world-building and well-developed characters.

Ultimately, Arifureta’s message serves as a warning, shedding light on the difficulty of transforming captivating narratives into visually appealing anime adaptations.

Last words

Despite the less-than-stellar animation in older anime series, it’s crucial to keep in mind that they were produced in a different era. These shows did not have access to modern technology and effects, nor did they have a significant budget. However, despite the limitations, many of these anime have captivating stories.

Despite the fact that these anime may be judged based on their animation, it is important not to overlook them. The quality of animation may not live up to expectations, but that doesn’t mean these series should be dismissed. These anime have compelling stories that deserve recognition, regardless of any visual imperfections. So, the next time you come across an anime with less-than-perfect animation, don’t be too quick to judge. You may be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gem that lies within.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *