“Overrated” is overrated: there’s nothing wrong with liking popular things


Sabrina Ngu, News Editor

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of the word overrated is something “rated or valued too highly.” The word has been used frequently in recent years, typically in an argument meant to criticize or devalue anything mainstream or popular, and especially on social media. 

“Popular shows and movies get called overrated all the time,” senior Miranda Walsh said. “It undermines people’s interests, and it makes them feel bad for liking something that’s popular.” 

Using the word overrated, while sometimes for good intention, is overrated in itself. The word is problematic in the way that people cannot like things without others telling them that it isn’t as good. 

One piece of media that has been called overrated is the 2019 dark fantasy anime “Kimetsu no Yaiba,” also known as “Demon Slayer.” Adapted from the 2016 manga of the same name by Koyoharu Gotōge, Japanese manga artist and author, “Demon Slayer” is the story of a young boy named Tanjiro Kamado, who becomes a demon slayer after his family is slaughtered and his sister, Nezuko, is turned into a demon. 

At the time of its release, there has been minimal hate against it until episode 19. When this legendary episode came out, it trended on Twitter and reached mainstream levels of popularity. “Demon Slayer” also became one of the best-selling manga, having approximately 150 million copies, and the 2020 sequel film “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” having 401.5 million in the worldwide box office. Since then, it has often been called words and phrases such as “mid,” “carried by its animation” and most of all “overrated” because of the anime and manga’s success.  

There is also Marvel’s 2018 superhero action film “Black Panther” directed by Ryan Coogler, featuring the all-Black-cast including the late Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett. 

Many people were excited and had anticipated the release of the film, but after the film’s release, opinions have changed. “Black Panther” did well in the box office with $1.347 billion, and received positive reviews from critics, most of the criticism jabbing at the computer-generated effects. 

By the audience, however, is a whole other story. Much of the audience loved the movie. Some had reasonable, constructive criticism as to why they did not like the movie, whether the movie was too rushed or didn’t live up to their expectations. 

Others hated the movie and devalued “Black Panther” in reaction to the movie’s success, the tons of nominations from award shows and response from the audience. It ignited senseless comments, overhyped and overrated being among the two most used “criticisms.” 

Even outside of film, the most popular things are often called overrated: AirPods, pop music, pizza and LED lights are a few of many mainstream items and forms of entertainment. 

There’s a reason why things are popular and hyped-up. To some people, it could be mediocre at best, but for the majority of people, it’s the greatest show or movie they’ve ever consumed. Look at how Marvel got popular because what they had to offer to their fans was good. Look at how anime is becoming more mainstream and accepted in the west because some anime is good. 

People are unique for a reason, and, eventually, they come across different interests in their lives. Some of these interests can just happen to be popular, and no one should not “hate on” what they like simply because they believe it is undeserving of success. 

“Everyone has different opinions,” junior Shyana Nanshah said. “Something you might think is overrated someone else might not think so. You just have to figure out how to say your opinion without using the term ‘overrated.’”

Opinion is subjective. Using “overrated” in an argument against someone who likes something you don’t like is, in fact, overrated. If you do not like something, then it’s okay. However, do not undermine what someone likes just because you don’t feel the same way as they feel. 

“[The word] is mostly used just to put stuff down,” senior Miles Swiatek said. “People are cool, and if you respect their interests you’ll find some cool stuff.”

It is important to learn how to respect the interests of others and the person themself. Using harsh words or anything to put someone down for what they like is destructive. Remember that words can hurt.