Top 10 Anime Clichés / Commonplace

sasuke syaringan

Anime - we love and we treasure them. But sometimes you cannot help but wonder how original your favorite shows really are. There is such a huge amount of anime out there that it’s inevitable to see the same things happening over and over again.

Here’s a list of ten clichés that we’ve noticed in all kinds of shows. Let me take you through them and let’s laugh about them together. Enjoy!

10. Endless Monologues

kousei arima shigatsu wa kimi no uso

Let’s start with something that might not be restricted to anime, but can be observed in a lot of shows: having self-conversations. Just think about how often you can see a character talking while no one’s around only to inform the viewers about his or her emotions.

While that’s unlikely to happen in reality, many of us don’t even question it anymore. Not only in anime, but in other shows as well it’s convenient for the producers to let the characters blurt out their thoughts and emotions.


9. Orphans and Deceased Parents

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Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler, Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan or Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto - these are just the most famous examples of heroes with at least partly deceased parents.

If I had to take a guess I would say that the background as an orphan shows a lot of character strength. Growing up without parental support is more than tough and shapes your personality, to say the least. Besides, it makes for some great and tragic backstories that explain the hero’s dedication.


8.Disproportionately Big Breasts

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Next is a cliché that I’m sure most of you don’t mind at all. Big breasts are a statement of many anime. Pressed into school uniforms or exposed in a bikini, huge breasts come in all different shapes and sizes. The fact that some of the girls having them just entered high school doesn’t seem to matter.

You can only wonder what the reason behind this is. Maybe Japan tries to overcompensate since reality looks a little bit different from what we see in anime. Or maybe they are just there for a quick laugh and a little bit of fanservice.


7. Nosebleeds

sanji one piece nosebleed

The amazingly cute first-year student walks past the protagonist, flashing a big smile and there we have it - blood starts streaming out of his nostrils.

The well-known nosebleed characters get when they see something arousing is actually something that might needs to be explained to Western viewers. While it’s a joke that can be observed in many different anime, it never appears in Western shows - at least not that I would know of. Nosebleeds are a fun way of showing a character’s emotions without telling them directly and they are always good for a quick joke.


6. Annoying Female Characters

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We all know and hate them: useless female characters.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means saying that all female characters are useless. But sometimes producers amaze with their ability of creating characters that just annoy the viewers. I’m talking about the whiny high school girls and the helpless fighters that need to be saved constantly. They cannot take responsibility for any of their actions and are just standing on the side while looking cute.

It would be nice to see more female roles that show that women are not weak and not all of them are useless.


5. Classroom Positioning

Tonari no Seki-kun

The next cliché is something that most anime fans know instinctively even if they are not aware of it: the position of the main hero in the classroom. If you were to ask anime fans where their favorite hero sits they would probably say next to the window or somewhere in the last rows.

Just think about how often you can see your characters dozing off in class and staring into the sky while thinking about what’s going on in their lives. Not only that, but you can usually tell a lot about a character’s personality by looking at his seat. The geeks? Sitting in the first row. The delinquents and free spirits? Balancing on the back legs of their chairs in the last row. And the popular girls? Probably somewhere off to the side, chatting with their best friends.


4. Shouting the Name of Your Attack

dragon ball kamehameha

Many attacks are at least as famous as their respective Shounen heroes. Unique fighting techniques are just as much part of them as their backstories or their crazy hairstyles. Still, sometimes I wonder if you really have to shout the name of your move every time you perform it.

But as I said, most moves are infamous. And even though I might complain, it just wouldn’t be the same without it – just imagine Luffy fighting without shouting Gum-Gum before his moves. And who hasn’t tried to Kamehameha at least once in their childhood?


3. Eating Huge Amounts of Food

kantai collection kancolle ep8 09

Speaking of Luffy from One Piece, let’s talk about food. We all know them - the characters that can easily eat a whole table of meals just by themselves and still be hungry afterwards.

This cliché is most likely one of the reasons why a lot of us wish we could live in anime. You have to admit that food in anime just looks way better than in real life. Also, this cliché often goes hand in hand with bad or non-existent table manners. These characters slurp, they spit and they can never get enough of meat, Ramen and Co.


2. Colorful Hair and Crazy Styles

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“Try to spot the main character” has almost become a running gag on the Internet. They are usually ridiculously easy to spot: heroes and heroines have a more than unique sense of style as well as brightly colored and stylish hair.

Character design seems to know no limits. The crazier the better is the motto, since those features make a character memorable. Still, only in anime is it considered normal to have pink or blue hair and wear clothes that are more than questionable. Japan’s creativity is truly remarkable.


1. Overusing Stereotypes

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How can a shy anime girl be described? Probably as shy. Anything else? Most likely not. Many anime characters are in fact only representations of one characteristic trait.

For most anime it’s already pretty obvious what kind of personality a character has right from the beginning. The “cool guy” has spiky hair, rarely smiles, talks in a low voice and usually leans against walls. The geek wears glasses and has no social life while the cute and innocent girl is clueless of anything going on around her.

It seems to me that only really good shows have characters with unique and complex personalities – characters that stay in your mind since they cannot be summed up with simply one word.


Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai wallpaper

No matter how much these clichés annoy us sometimes, we still love them. Actually, I am sure that most of my favorite shows have a lot of them. Still, all of these clichés are what makes anime unique and sets them apart from other shows.

Do you agree with our list or did we forget any other clichés? Comment down below and let us know.

Cornelia Wagner

Writer

Author: Cornelia Wagner

Coffee enthusiast, world traveler and writer at heart. Left Europe to live and study in the insanity called Tokyo.

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