The first issue is the stylistic differences between anime and cartoons, where anime is supposedly more realistic and proportionate while cartoons are simpler and unrealistic. The problem is that anime can be just as simple and unrealistic as a western cartoon, and there are plenty of Animesque western cartoons out there. Plus, if it weren't for Western Animation, we wouldn't have anime, so...
The other issue is content (Because cartoons are for kids,right?). Anime fans will argue that anime is darker and more mature than cartoons, which is a sketchy argument for many reasons. First off, as the previous sarcasm indicates, cartoons aren't just for kids. Second, there are plenty of children's anime like Pokémon and Doraemon, and thanks to cultural differences, a lot of anime that's considered for kids in Japan is for teens/adults in the west. Third, depending on how the "anime is dark and mature" argument is presented, it causes anime fans to perpetuate a horribly inaccuratestereotype. Even ignoring the specific aspects of this, the content of a group of works isn't really a way to define an entirely new medium.
The treatment that people like Gin Ichimaru or Ulquiorra Cifer get from rabid fangirls is just as bad. According to them, Gin's decision to stage a very bloody revenge on Aizen for having stolen part of the soul of his Only Friend Rangikutotally justified actions as bloody and cruel as verbally taunting Rukia For the Evulz and causing her an Heroic B.S.O.D. with words alone when she was at her lower point, gleefully bifurcating Hiyori Sarugaki or causing the aforementioned Rangikudecades of emotional pain for a revenge that she would've likely been opposed to. Similarly, Ulquiorra's more insane fans like to gloss over how he killed Ichigo twice and horribly maimed Ishida, or how he contributed to Orihime's Break the Cutie process (how much of it was his doing is another matter...and let's leave it at that).
Initial D has caused a huge fandom for the Toyota Corolla AE86, despite the whole point being Takumi is an amazing driver who can win despite his old outdated car, as opposed to because of it. There's a huge amount of dialogue about how the 86 is outdated and not all that fast, but Takumi's superior driving skills are what makes him win.
Ah! My Goddess has this in spades. Some fans take Keiichi's laid-back attitude as a sign that he's weak-willed and would be subservient to any of the other members of the main cast, despite the fact that the series wouldn't work if that was true.
Many Yaoi Fangirls have complained that the protagonist of Ai no Shintairiku should "stop dressing as a girl" and find her annoying for doing so. Sara is transgender. The manga is all about that and has her love interest come to accept the fact.
Considering that Candy Candy is a shoujo manga from The '70s, it had pretty revolutionary 'messages': "Be honest to yourself", "Don't throw away your own beliefs", "Work hard to earn what you get in life", "Romance is important, yes, but not the end and be all to a woman's life". The fandom, however, ignores almost all of them (and specially the last one) only to focus on the romantic part of the plot, and especially on loudly complaining because Candy and Terry didn't end up together. Even older fans in their 30's and 40's, who should know better, fall into this trap.
In a similar vein to Zeon (and the various factions of other Gundam series in general - it is a Sunrise series), Britannia is often gets portrayed as significantly less evil in the fandom than in the series. Even the series humanizes The Empire to a degree in R2, seeming to forget that they're, you know, evil aggressors. Much like Zeon, the soldiers themselves are often pretty decent (albeit with a number of racists), and even the leaders (Princes and Princesses) are often shown to genuinely love and care for one another - to an extent.
Lelouch is a prime example of Misaimed Fandom. Lelouch is a pragmatist who keeps his head and makes the best use of any situation, even if it involves killing bystanders/foolish allies or disgracing those that he loves, but he's obviously not happy when his subordinates or friends die, and his end goal is to replace the current system with one that's kinder and not as exclusive. On the one hand, many fans tend to forget this and paint him as a monster who cares for no one but himself, overlooking his more noble qualities which includes becoming the object of the world's hatred and dying in order to create world peace...all for the sake of his baby sister. On the other hand, there are fans who refuse to admit that their baby Lulu isn't above lying, manipulatingnote with or without his geass, or even expending people around him to achieve his goals, and his carelessness has resulted in some pretty nasty consequences for himself and for the people he wants to help (including said baby sister).
Fans who root for Light even through his most callous casualties and perceive him as the god proxy he touts himself as (as opposed to the insane serial killer Near paints him as) is this, as in Death Note 13, both creators say they consider Light to be evil.note Ohba said that Light was "a young man who could understand the pain of others" when he first encountered the Death Note. Ohba said that if Ryuk never developed an interest in the human world, Light would have become "one of the greatest police leaders in the world" who, with L, worked against criminals. Ohba described Light's life as "ruined" once he obtained the Death Note, and that Light became a victim of the Death Note "in many ways". Ohba described Light as bearing good faith intentions and having a "very conceited" nature. Ohba also describes Light as having a "warped" "desire to be godlike," bearing love for his family, and intending to transform the world into "a better place". Ohba added that he believed that debating whether Light's actions were good or evil is not "very important." Ohba said that he personally sees Light as a "diabolical" character. The infamous "Manga Murder" case (in which a Belgian man murdered people whose names he wrote in a "Death Note" replica, presumably imitating Light) is the Most Triumphant Example of this possible Misaimed Fandom. That said, there are SOME who cheer him on because he's so brilliantly twisted and evil who don't qualify here, but for those who actually believe he's The Hero... they definitely qualify here. Note that this even extends to the Director of the anime. He's gone on record of saying part of him was pulling for Light to be the victor of the manga, despite his evilness. This is in contrast, however, to the Director of the live action movie adaptations, who has said that one of his goals (particularly in the second film) was to convey Light's evil properly like he felt it was conveyed in the manga. It's also suspected that the reason his downfall at the end of the manga was made so devastating was specifically as a Take That to the fans rooting for him.
In an Inverted example, a lot of fans who dislike Light seem to pick upon his declaration of divinity as one of his crowning sins. Now, whilst this does show his tremendous ego and doesn't exactly do his audience sympathy many favours, you'd have thought that being a bit arrogant and offending some viewers' religious sensibilities would be kind of small fry compared with murdering hundreds of people a day, including some for just getting in your way, for several years running.
Also, in another instance of this, similar to the Rei Ayanami example, there's L, the socially inept, disheveled, insomniac rival to Light, who was admittedly designed to be ugly and unpleasant looking. The massive fangirl following massively disagrees. Death Note 13's "How to Read" also reveals that Takeshi Obata tried to complicate the morality of the series by purposefully giving L an ugly character design that no one would be attracted to.
Acknowledged by the author when, during one of L's rare public appearances, one young woman is smitten with him despite/because of his disheveled appearance. The woman's friend wonders what is wrong with her.
Many fans like to paint Vegeta as a victim who doesn't cause any trouble, and try to blame other characters for his actions throughout the series, ignoring the fact that he is a selfish asshole who makes his decisions by choice. Even the Funi dub gets on this, by trying to scapegoat Frieza for his actions.
Goku and Vegeta's rivalry. Some people like to cheer for Vegeta since he's becomes the underdog after the events of the Frieza Saga. Other root for him because they feel he deserves to beat Goku because he trains more while Goku is given everything, is royalty, and is generally more Badass (despite his so-so win record). What these type of fans miss is that Goku trains just as hard as Vegeta, he just doesn't torture his body, and despite not being royalty he's more talented. Goku's flaws are also played up more where he is reduced to Dumb Muscle while Vegeta is herald as a technical genius, although Goku comes up with a number of genius plans while Vegeta most of the time loses his temper and his ability to think straight when his pride is hurt.
Some fans may see Nappa as misunderstood for teaming up with Vegeta, ignoring the fact that he is at least 20 years older than Vegeta, and that he is old enough to resist peer pressure, and he often takes glee in hurting people for fun.
The Saiyan race as a whole, specifically in the West. Saiyans are seen as sympathetic, cool Blood Knights who were viciously murdered by their boss after they served him loyally for years. Although Frieza's actions in killing the Saiyans are indeed terrible, the Saiyans were still a bunch of space pirates who would be just as bad as Frieza if they did managed to over throw him. In many ways, Frieza did the universe a favor driving them close to extinction.
Power Levels. Fans love using them to compare fighters to see who would win. This is despite the fact that Power Levels were made to show why judging fighters by numbers was terrible given that it didn't take into account people hiding their power, speed, experience, or techniques. Frieza's entire army and Raditz were handed their butts because they depended too much on Power Level readings.
Fans of Digimon seem to be obsessed with Ruki, from the Tamers season, even coming to claim her to be better than those "lame girly girls" like Sora and Mimi just because she's rude and unemotional at the start of the series. People often accuse the latter part of Tamers of being sexist for having Ruki turn into a soft and caring person...Despite the anime strongly suggesting that that was her TRUE form all along, and that her "Ice Queen" persona she was at the start was just a mask she used to hide her insecurities with.
An Eyeshield 21 fan basically has to introduce him/herself first as either a fan of the football games, or a fan of the boys, before talking at all about the series.
Believe it or not, fans of Franken Fran, but Fran isn't evil. Nor is her sister Veronica supposed to be good. If you truly pay attention, then you'll notice that they are both intended to be neutral. It's especially apparent with the OVAs, where no violence happens and its slapstick fun. Fans can't just let the kids live normally. Fran may be sorta kinda well-intentioned, but her intervention in people's lives makes her more amoral than neutral, assuming she's even on the same moral plane as others.
Fullmetal Alchemist offers a very, VERY spoileriffic example that beats the readers/viewers in the head with its message, but somehow it's still missed by the fandom: Roy destroying Envy in the most painful way possible isn't supposed to be enjoyed by the audience. Although Envy is a psychopath who had it coming for killing Hughes in the meanest way possible, and other characters like Riza and Edward do agree that he has to die and has done everything to deserve it, the readers and viewers supposed to be worrying forRoy'ssanity (killing Envy to avenge Hughes would completely destroy Roy's lifelong dream to purify the country/military and atone for the sins of the Ishbalan war), not cheering for him to kick Envy's ass. The Brotherhood anime clears this up a bit, largely with the way the voices sound: Roy's tone is clearly that of a savage madman who is completely losing his sanity, and Envy sounds like a scared ten year old. And yet the fandom keeps citing this as a badass moment for Mustang, cheering at Roy's nightmare-ish self-destuctive spiral plus gunning for him to lose himself to his darkness, and getting angry at Riza and Ed for not enabling him.Even in this very Wiki.
Grave of the Fireflies has been hijacked by some Japanese nationalists to fuel talk of how cruel America was to Japan in World War II. Meanwhile, detractors have accused it of feeding into this rose-tinted view of Imperial Japan as the innocent victims forced to go into war. The film's fame comes from being praised for portraying how war is absolutely terrible and horrific for anyone caught in it, whichever side they may be on. Ironically, none of these factors are what the director intended. In an interview with Animage in 1988, Isao Takahata stated that there is no anti-war message at all in the film. He was actually aiming to shame the contemporary generation of rebellious (at least by Japanese standards) Japanese teens/young adults by reminding them of what their parents had to endure before the economy was rebuilt.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny fans who think either Blue Cosmos/LOGOS or Well-Intentioned Extremist Durandal were right. Word of God is that Durandal thought what he was doing was right, which some fans have exaggerated into claiming that it outright states that Dullindal/Durandal/whatever translation you use was right in the first place. but he was going to use a weapon of mass destruction against the countries who were against his Destiny Plan! This is one of those cases where fan claims about Word of God must be taken with a grain of salt. Also, in Char's Counterattack, there are quite a few fans who maintain that Char was the hero. Despite, you know, his trying to drop an asteroid on Earth. Char himself considers this act Necessarily Evil, but evil nonetheless.
If you want an example of Misaimed Fandom for the series, look no further than the Principality of Zeon from the Universal Century. Later series play up the space Nazi aspect so much that the only difference between Zeon battle flags and Nazi ones is the replacement of the swastika. But Zeon has a truly staggering fan following, both in Japan and in the Western world, who admire Zeon soldiers as the pinnacle of manliness and loyalty. While Gundam is all about Gray and Gray Morality, and it's the leaders who are the greedy scumbags while the common soldiers run the gamut, it doesn't change the fact that Zeon's default response to anything was to throw a WMD at it, whether it's a Colony Drop (original series, 0083), biological weapon (Rise from the Ashes), or nuclear missiles (0080). This isn't helped by the fact that several stories like 0083 and 0081 focus on the interactions of close-knit groups of Zeon soldiers and try to gloss over the fact that they want to (and did) kill millions of innocent civilians in the name of independence.
The fact Zeon is still labeled as having fought the OYW over "spacenoid independence" shows how misaimed the Gundam fandom really is on the subject. Gundam backstory has long established that Zeon, specifically Side 3, had gained independence from the Federation long before the One Year War took place (how could Zeon Zum Daikun form the Republic of Zeon without it?), while Zeon's method of "liberating" the other colonies from the Federation was either to gas or nuke them out of existence; only Side 6, which chose to remain neutral (though secretly supporting the Federation), and Side 7 (which was on the other side of the planet) remained untouched by Zeon's genocidal onslaught. Basically, Zeon fought for spacenoid independence the same way Nazi Germany fought for European freedom and liberty, yet it's still seen in the same light as the American Minutemen by a large contingent of Gundam fans.
Gundam also has viewers who didn't get the memo and missed the fact that one of the franchise's key points is War Is Hell; these people can usually be identified as the ones who say things like "The giant robots are great, but I wish they'd shut up with all that talky philosophy bullshit and just fight each other!"
In Higurashi: When They Cry a lot of fans seem to dislike whenever nothing "scary" or gory happens. They're completely missing the point of the series. We're supposed to be happy that there is nothing wrong and that everyone can just go on with their lives. In fact, the authors of the Higurashi visual novels were heavily influenced by Key's Visual Novels such as Kanon, which work by contrasting simple, happy scenes which build up to plot twists and extremely emotional sad scenes, and were very effective at bringing players to tears. Higurashi's authors adopted a similar pattern of happy scenes and horror scenes to give the horror more impact: hence, the happy parts are integral to the overall horror effect.
While Sora Naegino from Kaleido Stardid go through quite the Break the Cutie at times, her boss Kalos Eidos was a Stern Teacher at most and her second season May Wong got to befriend her after being subjected to quite the Break the Haughty. To the fandom, however, Kalos and May are abusive and monsters who masturbate to the possibility of Sora failing, and Sora should be spoon-fed success and stardom even when she has to re-shape her Wide-Eyed Idealist ways into a somewhat more mature stance, so she can both keep believing in the best of people and not crush under the pressure of being the star of the Kaleido Stage. Sora is a deconstruction of the Purity Sue archetype... but the Kaleido Star fandom actually seems to actively want her to be a straight example.
Some parts of the Loveless fandom actively ship pairings that are canonically stated to be abusive (eg- Seimei/Soubi), either ignoring or fetishizing the fact that they aren't healthy. Also applying Draco in Leather Pants to Seimei and Nisei.
The ending of the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch manga was supposed to insinuate that love wasn't as important as personal fulfillment: Hanon and Rina know they will eventually have to choose to rule their kingdoms instead of staying on the surface. (This is analogous to the original "The Little Mermaid" story, except Lucia gets to keep Kaito.) Fans generally ignore this and give them future children with Nagisa and Hamasaki (Masahiro).
Another example is that whilst many Naruto fans see Sasuke as a Smug Snake who eats babies and enjoys kicking puppies, others see him as a Bad Ass with absolutely no flaws, who is not emotionally unstable in the least and who simply does bad things because he's "cool" and "badass" and "evil". Both sets of fans are wrong, as it's pretty clear that while he's supposed to be sympathetic, or to have been sympathetic once before he crossed the Moral Event Horizon, most of his life choices are shown in quite a negative light.
In an interview, Kishimoto finally weighed in on what he thinks of Sasuke's Misaimed Fandom; While he denies Sasuke being an actual villain, he also slammed anyone who tried to rationalize his actions and said they were not justifiable.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Since NGE was basically created by committee with no clear goal at the start, it is one series where these claims of specific deep and meaningful "authors intent" definitely needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Rei was intended to be a creepy and wrongDeconstruction of the anime fandom's fetish for a perfect, obedient woman. Hideaki Anno instructed Yoshiyuki Sadamoto on Rei's character design that "Whatever else, she needs to be painted in as a bitterly unhappy young girl with little sense of presence". Instead, she became one of theUr Examples of Moe. She also created an entire character archetype. This may be because she's portrayed as a sympathetic Woobie. In addition, the fandom declared her to be pure straight Fetish Fuel, and later merchandising and marketing began to play up this aspect of her.
The marines and pirates. Marines are often played as evil by the fandom who are run by corrupt Jerk Asses and Smug Supers while the pirates are romanticize as freedom loving people who want to live life to the fullest outside the law. For the most part, the marines are portrayed as morally questionable to morally corrupt and several good pirate crews are seen such as the Straw Hats, Shanks' crew, and the Whitebeard Pirates. However, it is made clear that crews like the Straw Hats are exceptions and most pirates are evil, cruel, and murderous. Marines for the most part are good (or at least try to do the right thing) and want to protect people from pirates and other criminals. The dynamite between pirates and marines is more a case of Grey and Grey Morality, while fans tend to simplify it to pure Black and White.
Devil Fruits. Fans love seeing the different abilities of an user and what crazy things the characters can do. There are also fans who think Logia have the best powers, being elemental and closed to impossible to harm, while Zoan and Paramecia Devil Fruits are often seen as lackluster with few exceptions. There are even fans who believe Luffy has a terrible power, only being a rubber man. This is ignoring that it is stated in-universe that there is no such thing as a bad Devil Fruit, just bad users, and Devil Fruits becomes more powerful the more imaginative the user becomes. One of the reasons why Luffy is so powerful is because he makes good use of his power and creates new ways to take advantage of his rubber body. The same with Zoan types who combined their natural fighting ability with those of the animal they can turn into.
Please Tell Me! Galko-chan spends a lot of time debunking myths surrounding women's bodies, ultimately pointing out that you shouldn't judge people by their appearances. This is heavily underlined through Galko, whose entire class assumes is sexually frivolous because she has a large chest and a flashy wardrobe, but the show takes pains to show that not only is that nowhere near the case, the implication of such might actually hurt Galko herself. So of course, the merchandise and fan-oriented works all focus on how hawt Galko is!
In the Pokémon anime, the rival of each series induces one of these. While they're normally a jerk to Ash instead of a friendly competitor, a lot of people cheer them on for this, saying that they're much cooler than Ash and better trainers. This is most evident in Paul, the Sinnoh rival. Yet people still cheered him on when he abused his Pokemon in order to make them stronger. This is because Paul's methods are quite similar to the methods the competitive video game players use to obtain their Pokémonnote not including glitches or manipulating the random number generator, making him an instant foil to Ash's friendship-and-love approach and a Take That to those players. Instead, Paul became an Audience Surrogate for some of these players and an anchor point to the normally unwatchable-for-them anime. Gary Oak in the original series is more a YMMV though. Yes, he was two steps ahead of Ash for most of said series, but he also suffered crucial failures as well. Adding salt to the wound, Ash succeeded in some of those said scenarios. Gary losing to the preliminaries that Ash got through in the Indigo League? Check. Being owned by Giovanni's Mewtwo? Check. Gary losing to Ash himself during the Johto Tournament. Indeed, check.
In a cross-media example, there's the Ash vs. Red debate. Yes, the side for Red brings up some good points... But they completely ignore Ash's accomplishments and qualities while playing up Red's. It sort of makes Red's fans look like a bunch of hypocrites, honestly.
In The Prince of Tennis, people who think that An Tachibana has a Crowning Moment of Awesome when she confronted Kirihara for having injured her older brother in the anime-only Senbatsu arc are massively missing the point of said sub-plot and the consequences it brought for the charas involved. An's actions were NOT supposed to be seen as commendable, as she was consumed by rage and she had tried to attack Kirihara some days before and was restrained; not to mention, her second attack on Kirihara finished on him taking a Staircase Tumblethat could have been fatal, and for worse Akira Kamio was wrongfully accused for said fall and almost kicked out of the Senbatsu. While Kirihara himself decided to not tell who attacked him as he was shit scared of the consequences and didn't want more problems. However, "feminist fans" often praise the girl and say she's badass and strong for physically attacking a man, horribly missing how her supposed Revenge was simply not worth it and it only caused Kamio, Kiriharaand the poor girl herself lots of pain. (To the point of breaking down in tears and apologizing for the consequences!)
Homura's love for Madoka, though initially well-intentioned, is an all-consuming obsession that endangers herself and others- to say nothing of the trauma and self-hatred that fuels it. But shippers have to ship, so Homura/Madoka ended up the show's Fan-Preferred Couple, and when the third movie dared show just how unhealthy Homura's feelings are...many fans, well, rebelled.
While we're on the subject of the movie their are plenty of fans who genuinely believe that Homura did absolutely nothing wrong in the ending after usurping Madoka's place as the God of the world and becoming a devil since it lead to all of the main characters coming back to life and Kyubey finally getting the punishment he deserves. However this is ignoring the fact that in order to create this new world Homura forcibly ripped Madoka away from her Goddess powers and afterwards Mind Raped every single person who could remember the old world. Hell even the fact the she brought several characters back to life and gave them happy endings isn't portrayed as all that heroic since you could argue that she's doing it so that anyone who may remember the old world will want to stay in her new one instead. Despite the fact that the movie clearly shows that Homura did a truly awful thing (with even Homura herself admitting it and knowing that this will eventually lead to her and Madoka becoming enemies) there are many fans that genuinely belief that what she did was right and that her new world is better then Madoka's old one (although their are plenty of other fans who disagree).
The flipside is also true, since the loudest Homura haters insist that she is an horrifyingly cruel monster devoid of any humanity and refer to anyone who disagrees as "apologists". These Homura bashers eagerly brush aside how she was very lonely before meeting Madoka, then either broke herself or was broken beyond belief in all the time loops and continuities, eventually reached a total breaking point, and then had the above described Love Makes You Evil-fueled Face–Heel Turn. Even when the show beats the viewers upside the head with the idea that love cannot completely selfless unless in extremely special circumstances (like Madoka's), the fans still uphold the "love must be completely selfless and a person in love must not be allowed to wish for anything for him/herself" idea and then bash Homura for, alongside Sayaka, showing how unrealistic and harmful it is.
Revolutionary Girl Utena has this in a bunch of different flavors, which was sort of bound to happen. A big part of this is either focused on whether Anthy is a villain or The Woobie, whether Utena should be a prince or a princess, the Prince and Princess Tropes in themselves (since both concepts are deconstucted and shown as unrealistic, but fans insist it's best to be a "gallant prince" than a "stupid princess") and shipping wars. Oh, the shipping wars...The ironic part is that the show makes a large part of deconstructing these arguments and pointing out that no person would have such flat motivations. But it wouldn't be a Misaimed Fandom if they listened.
Many Robotech fans completely ignore the point that Robotech, due to its origins as a Cut-and-Paste Translation, is supposed to be a multigenerational epic, with characters coming along and leaving (either through death or simply time passing) when their stories are finished. Instead, a large number of them are obsessed with Rick Hunter as though he were the central main character of the Robotech universe. While he appeared briefly in the 2007 followup film Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles as a barely recognizable, aged, white haired version of himself (actually, he looked far older than what he was supposed to be), this naturally upset fans who wanted to see Rick, Max, and the others flying their Veritechs and kicking serious alien ass like in the original "Macross Saga" despite the fact that Shadow Chronicles takes place about 35 years later.
That said, the studio behind Robotech, Harmony Gold, have actually been quite willing to deliver the further adventures of Rick, Max, Lisa & co. They even tried to produce a Robotech II: The Sentinels TV series back in the 1980s which would detail what the Macross characters got up to during seasons 2 and 3. This just didn't work out, and later on Harmony Gold lost the licensing rights to the Macross materials due to court challenges from the Japanese creators; currently, they only has the licensing rights to Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (aka "The New Generation"), so all further Robotech works only reference visual designs from Mospeada. It's likely that Harmony Gold would have already spewn out 10,000 episodes of "Rick Hunter Adventures" if they (legally) could.
Rurouni Kenshin fans who complain how much it sucks that Kenshin doesn't kill anyone, despite this being a major, plot-critical character trait. Some fans have intelligent criticism of the series' simplistic take on morality and violence—but many do seem to think it'd be cooler if Kenshin would kill people, or don't care. The author included an in-universe example of this viewpoint: Saitou Hajime not only thinks it'd be better if Kenshin reverted to his old ways, but is also continually trying to force him to do so. When Kenshin finally resolves his last issue with his past, Saitou rejects his challenge because he was searching for something that Kenshin can no longer provide.
Rurouni Kenshin as a whole was supposed to be a deconstruction of the Jidai Geki fiction, showing the bitter consequences of being a samurai in the Meiji Era — the times when samurai totally lost their influence in Japanese society. Seems some people definitely missed that message.
With Serial Experiments Lain, producer Yasuyuki Ueda hoped to stir a "cultural war" (seriously) between traditional Japanese and American values, due to the latter's perceived negative influence on post-WWII Japan. His hope with Lain was to create a story that would be interpreted differently in the East and West and spark discussions on their cultural differences and perspectives. American fans interpreted the plot the same way as Japanese fans, which suggests that either Lain wasn't enough of a Mind Screw for his purposes, or Americans and Japanese are not that different at all... Misaimed Creator?
The anime Shiki has this big time. The show is supposed to be a morally gray spin on the vampire genre where both sides could be considered in the wrong and there is no real good or evil side. It is a simple battle of two species who cannot coexist. Both sides end up doing horrible things by the end of the show just to protect their species and community from destruction. Despite this being somewhat clear many people don't get this (the entire point of the series) and seem to act like one side is clearly good and the other is pure evil. The Shiki supporters tend to be more self aware but the human supporters are down right militant with their view of the Shiki being pure evil and the humans being fully justified. They will even claim that the holocaust of the Shiki at the end of the show was perfectly justified while the Shiki feeding on the humans to survive is complete, pitch black, evil. The show seems to be too intelligently written for the typical audience that views anime though so the show's nuanced morality may go over the heads of most. This is not helped by the fact that both sides have a few bad people on them.
The Wandering Son fandom can be this at times. A lot of the fandom seems to be under the impression that either, or both, of the protagonists are just gay despite the fact that the manga explicitly states several times that they are Transsexual, and even has a post-op trans woman like Yuki who they compare to (Nitori has mostly shown attraction to girls as well). Similarly many Otokonoko Genre fans are drawn to the series. Other fans think it's a romance shojo where Platonic Life Partners Takatsuki and Nitori are going to end up in the end, despite it being marketed as seinen instead. They have Ship Tease, though nothing becomes of it, however it is a Coming-of-Age Story instead of a romance.
Welcome to the N.H.K.: Believe it or not, many people want to become hikikomori after watching it. Yeah. The implication that a cute girl will show up to help you out is probably the main reason, even though the girl in the show is even more mentally messed-up than the protagonist. This continued even after the author wrote in the afterword of the original novel that the point of the story was how horrible this lifestyle was for him. Most importantly, this is ignoring the fact that two hikkikomori nearly died because their support got cut off; they even had an aesop saying one has to work if they want to live.
Wolf's Rain fans who sympathize too much with the wolves, claiming that "They don't really want to hurt anyone," even though many killings happen on-screen. The only one who shows any remorse is Toboe. Kiba, the human-intolerant leader, gets squeed over as well—but even if he were human, he would still be a messed-up, violent, bad-tempered misanthrope. It's not that he's bad—his issues are extremelyunderstandable and he does grow to genuinely care about the others—it's just unlikely that The Power of Love alone could cure his issues. Especially if she's human. But as their human-looking forms are all Bishounen, it's completely understandable. Wolf's Rain also happens to be a social and religious allegory. Some fans ignore this in favor of fawning over how pretty the wolves are.
According to series creator Kazuki Takahashi, the main point of was intended to be friendship. Unfortunately, the children's card game (that is almost always one-on-one) element got out of control and is now the dominant aspect of the franchise.
Another example is that over the course of the anime/manga, there are fans who still view Seto Kaiba as The Woobie, even though he's long since become self reliant, and that Yugi and his friends are jerks who don't understand what he's been through, or fawn over Kaiba's badass traits so much that they will overlook or pardon his jerkass moments. Even the Toei staff working on the anime seems to feel this way. In the manga though, it should be clear that outside his few redemptive moments, Kaiba's behavior should not be idolized or emulated and that, while you are supposed to sympathize with Kaiba's troubles, you're not supposed to think that excuses the crap he pulls.
Despite Yuureitou making it extremely clear that Tetsuo is a transgender man, many fans view him as a Sweet Polly Oliver. Even after Taichi himself makes this mistake and Tetsuo tells him otherwise, many fans thought Tetsuo would stop "crossdressing" by the end and end up with Taichi. They are the Official Couple but Tetsuo is still living as a man.