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Anime and Manga Tropes/Cliches

Updated on October 21, 2014

Note: These are just few of the many Anime & Manga cliches out there. I'm just merely pointing them out, not complaining about them or whatever.

Warning might contain minor spoilers.

Simon (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)
Simon (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) | Source
Shinji (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Shinji (Neon Genesis Evangelion) | Source

1. The Reluctant Hero

Notable Examples: Shinji (Evangelion), Simon (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Shi-Woon Yi (The Breaker manhwa), Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul), Saji Crossroad (Gundam 00)

Present in I guess half of the shonen genre manga and anime titles. They are your typical bullied teens who by weird chance, came in contact with a powerful guy, saved by some mysterious being or chosen by a shady organization.

At first they're reluctant. They keep denying and rejecting all the changes that suddenly happening to their life. They wanted to go back to be normal but of course that never happens. They will eventually try to accept it which leads to a training arc.These kind of heroes get beat up A LOT. They will fight losing battles and will always somehow be saved by their new "nakama". Then after 100 chapters or before the season finale something will happen. Something tragic will occur that will trigger their changed. Be it a loved one being hurt or dying or the heroes themselves going under psychological breakdown and physical torture. They finally accepted their fate and embraced their destiny. After that, we'll see a bunch of very satisfying battle from our beloved hero, displaying his new found badassery.


Sanji (One Piece)
Sanji (One Piece) | Source
Jiraiya (Naruto)
Jiraiya (Naruto) | Source

2. The Pervert

Notable Examples: Sanji (One Piece), Jiraiya (Naruto), Master Roshi (DBZ), Kon (Bleach)

Present in almost all Shonen mangas and animes out there. They can be the main characters themselves, the secondary or the master. They're the ones who always drool and bleed their noses whenever they see a female character. They will go as far as trying to grope the ladies but 100% of the time they fail and will always get their asses beat. However aside from their Pervert character status, most of these characters have very serious side to them. Some are shown to be very powerful warriors with hidden abilities and techniques. Others hide amazing skills on other areas like being an exceptional artist, cook etc.


Hisoka (Hunter X Hunter)
Hisoka (Hunter X Hunter) | Source
Accelerator (To Aru Majutsu no Index)
Accelerator (To Aru Majutsu no Index) | Source

3. The Powerful Psycho

Notable Examples: Accelerator (To Aru Majutsu no Index), Suzuya (Tokyo Ghoul), Hisoka (Hunter X Hunter)

The classic stereotypical mostly supporting character that blarhg.

Most of these characters share the same thing. They are powerful, enjoy fighting, bloodlusted and had a messed up childhood. They lack empathy, tends to display sociopathic behaviors and can always be seen smiling and laughing while fighting. Their alignment are almost always ambiguous at times and is very prone in betraying the main characters. These guys are very popular among the fans and almost always on the top 10 of the anime and manga's popularity polls.

A few of them went through an event that greatly changed their perspective and attitude. Like Accelerator (To Aru Majutsu no Index) when he met Last Order and Suzuya (Tokyo Ghoul) when Shinohara, his mentor, was left comatose.


Ichimaru (Bleach)
Ichimaru (Bleach)
Professor Banner (Yu-Gi-Oh GX)
Professor Banner (Yu-Gi-Oh GX)

4. The Shut Eyes

Notable Examples: Ichimaru (Bleach), Professor Banner (Yu-Gi-Oh GX), Chichiri (Fushigi Yuugi)

Most of these types are supporting or enemy characters. These anime/manga stereotypes often keep deadly and shocking secrets. Some hide a secret identity, knowledge or power. Occasionally they do open their eyes but only for a moment. This usually signifies their seriousness or when they are about to reveal or do something badass or shocking. Most shut eyes characters often have goofy and laid back attitude. Nearly all of them smiles all the time.


5. The Speech

Source

Typical on Shonen and action animes and mangas. This is where the fighters pause for a second (but can take up to 10 min or more to anime watchers) to give their respective speeches to their enemy. This is to attempt to convert and make their enemies understand logic and reason. This can go both ways, a speech about the ones they hurt, killed and other horrible things they done. Or the good one where the character tries to turn his opponent good, to convert him back to the light side and make him understand what's right aka Guilt tripping or in Narutoverse, Talk-no jutsu. Some of these are successful and some are not.

Another type is the rousing speech. Typically delivered before an imminent clash, like going to war or going on a rescue mission. This speech is designed to give courage to others, giving them motivation and fueling their desire to successfully accomplish their mission.

6. Power of Friendship

Devil Survivor
Devil Survivor | Source

Notable examples: Naruto, Digimon, Pretty Cure, Yu-Gi-Oh, Sailor Moon, Persona The Animation

Ever so present in nearly all Shonen titles out there. Typically used whenever the main characters are on the verge of hopelessness and defeat. A character will rise up and give a speech that supposedly last only a couple of seconds but takes 5 minutes or more for the anime viewers. He tackles the issues of friendships, overcoming hardships, reminiscing about the past, etc etc etc. Those who heard it will somehow get a significant power boost. The heroes yell and unleash a very powerful attack fueled by this mysterious Friendship Force to defeat the enemy.


To Love-Ru Darkness
To Love-Ru Darkness | Source
Arcana Famiglia
Arcana Famiglia | Source

7. The Grope

Very common on Harem-Romance anime and manga. Male characters are the major perpetrator of these incidents. This can happen on purpose or accidental. Both almost always guarantees a violent outcome leaving the groper black and blue. There are very few who got away with it like Meliodas (Nanatsu No Taizai) and Gerard (Fairy Tail). All female characters are potential victims but the ones with large busts have the higher risk. In some Harem-Romance anime, this is typically how the male protagonist meet the female characters.

Stairs, Class Hallways, Pools, Hot Springs are the areas where these incidents commonly happens.


8. Eyebleach episodes

Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail | Source

Eyebleach or Fan Service episodes mostly feature our beloved characters going on a vacation. The Beach, a public pool, or in a hot spring is the typical settings of these episodes. This where accidental groping happens and romance develops. We see our favorite characters wearing little clothing leaving little to the fans' imagination.

These episodes is often aired after a lengthy arc featuring tons of fighting. You know typical Shonen stuff.

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