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This Is Why Sword Art Online Gets So Much Hate (And Why It’s Exaggerated)

No matter where you go on the internet, there’s someone talking sh*t about SAO.

  • Claiming it’s the worst anime of all time.
  • Explaining why it’s so bad and doesn’t deserve the hype.
  • Or how this or that ruined it in the first season.

And so many other “reasons” for why Sword Art Online is such a bad anime series.

It’s interesting because when you actually look at the facts, and shove opinions to the side, you have to wonder – why doesn’t the hate “add up”?

If it’s really so bad, then why is it one of the most successful shows of the LAST decade. Not to mention the most famous Isekai anime that makes far more money than any anime within the same genre of “gaming”?

There’s a reason for that, and I’ll get into it now.


This Is Why SAO Gets So Much Hate:


1. The “bandwagon” effect

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“The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others.” – Wikipedia

You can argue about this all day, but the facts are there in black and white.

Most people, especially these days jump on the bandwagon because it’s “acceptable” to bash and hate on SAO.

In fact it’s so acceptable you have people hate SAO even if they haven’t watched it. And even if they have NO idea what the reason is behind the hate.

This is even more true for teenagers and the “younger” fans in the community.

The type who troll, are sensitive, and act on impulse.

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SAO is one of the most influential and successful anime of all time. Like the movie: Ordinal Scale, which was “the biggest anime movie since Your Name”.

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And the light novels (where the anime comes from) is killing it.

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I say all that to say this: success breeds haters, but in Sword Art Online’s case: there are SO MANY haters since 2012 that it’s become “normal” to justify excuses just to hate on it.

An anime that’s become so successful like SAO can’t be as bad as people say it is, otherwise how could it do so well in the first place?


Opinions are fine, but numbers don’t lie. Unlike people

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How does an anime gain so much popularity and get so much hate, if the ratings and reviews are AT LEAST:

  • 4/5
  • or almost 8/10.

Something isn’t adding up. The worst anime would at least be a 5/10 or lower on average.

SAO isn’t even close.

In fact – NO SAO anime has ever received a low rating close to that. Especially on the more “established” websites.

Related: 6 Emotional Life Lessons To Be Learned From Sword Art Online


2. Ego on steroids

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Remember how I mentioned a lot of SAO haters are teenagers? Some are “young” adults, too. But the point is: it’s driven by ego.

I’ve met, seen and dealt with an infinite amount of trolls and fans who “hate” for no reason other than to make you feel bad, to make themselves feel better.

The type of fans who will say whatever to stroke their egos at the expense of your own happiness and self esteem.

If everyone is hating an anime like SAO, and you’re sensitive and insecure, it’s no surprise why you’d go out of your way to make people “feel like losers” for watching an anime everyone hates.

sao question quora |
This question is the perfect example (Quora).

Fighting back when it seems like the unconventional thing to do makes you a target, an enemy.

The backlash that comes from that isn’t worth it in most people’s eyes. So they avoid it out of fear.

That’s how it always works.

Conventional opinions will always attack the unconventional because it challenges the norm, and threatens traditional or so called “correct” ways of thinking.

Sword Art Online is that kind of anime that seems to evoke that kind of reaction.

Related: How The Anime Community Has Evolved Over The Years (For Better Or Worse)


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When you combine the ridiculous amounts of hate for Sword Art Online (most of which is exaggerated), and then add popularity to the equation, this is what you end up with.

You can’t go anywhere in the anime community and NOT have someone talk sh*t and hate on SAO.

It’s impossible.

It’s so normal to hate on Sword Art Online, publicly, that you’re almost “wrong” or insane to even try defending it.

Defending SAO usually evokes these kinds of reactions:

  • “You have no taste.”
  • “You’re stupid”.
  • “You’re a loser”.

That’s how sensitive and bias people have gotten over the topic of SAO and whether it’s “good” or not.

SAO is in the millions and millions of views, no matter where you look on the internet.

The ratings aren’t bad (there’s MUCH worse), and the sales, which matters, makes most anime laughable in comparison.

But that won’t change people’s “dead set” opinions on why SAO doesn’t deserve the light of day.

And why you must be deranged or stupid for thinking SAO is actually worth watching and enjoying.


The “hate” is exaggerated

So many people wouldn’t buy something they hate. I mean – if you genuinely hate something, it’s illogical to then go out and buy it. Or even support it.

And yet the sales figures don’t lie. Neither does the overall success of the SAO series.

I’ll be the first to say it’s not my “best anime of all time”. Especially not in my top 10 or 20. But to say it’s as bad as Dog & Scissors, or the equivalent is nothing but a “follow the leader” type of mentality.

It’s a little sheepish, and I’m tired of seeing it at this point.

You don’t have to like it, but I’m speaking of everyone else who’s hating for the sake of it.



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