Cliches in Anime/Manga

The sheer amount of anime and manga on the market today makes it inevitable that certain story points will be repeated here and there – but there are some “cliches” that seem to crop up absurdly often. This is a list of tropes (in)famous to both manga and anime – the stereotypes we love or love to hate!

The Strongest Enemy (This Season)

It’s an unfortunate downfall of popular series that survive across multiple story arcs. What do you do once that “big bad” of season one is defeated? He was the strongest enemy after all. But don’t worry! Anime/Manga has a solution for that – next season will have your favorite heroes facing off a bigger badder of universe oblitering strength that will make the previous foe look like a mewling baby! And just you wait until the season after that… Luckily, our heroes seem to have an endless store of hidden abilities waiting to be unlocked by just the right circumstances.

Eye Color Matters

Everyone knows that eyes are portals to the soul, and no one takes this more seriously than Anime/Manga producers. Though the characters themselves might find nothing odd about a girl flouncing around with strikingly golden eyes, or a mysterious, dark-cloaked man with glowing red pupils, you had best take note. And god forbid you get into a fight with someone with two differently  colored eyes. It’s therefore wise to be suspicious of everyone wearing an eyepatch.

Best Friend Rivalries

Is this a male thing? This must be a male thing. A mix of bromance and hate, it seems that these dudes have impossible friendships. You can expect them to be brawling each other into bloody pulps and competing at every chance. No sweat though, they’re still besties…?

Accidental Amnesia

We’re smack dab in the middle of a mid-season slump, and we are in desperate need of a new conflict to spice things up. Enter: Accidental Amnesia. At least one of our heroes or heroines will face tragic circumstances and experience a (temporary) memory wipe because of it. They might have gotten hit by a car, seen something so horrific they erased their memories out of pure shock, or they might be under the influence of a nefarious spell. Whatever the case, it’s left to the rest of the cast to try to figure out what’s going on, and how to restore the victim’s shattered mind.

Big Heart, Bigger Boobs

She’s mature. She’s calm, kind, and understanding. And she has gigantic knockers. This cliche doesn’t really apply to series where everyone is in possession of a big bust, obviously. For whatever reason, it’s always the small-breasted that are hyperactive and/or hyperagressive. Compensating, perhaps?

Not Technically Incest

I often wonder what the obsession is with brother-sister love stories. Is this a common thing? Is this a secret dream of siblings all across the world? Or is it just about the hot spice of “forbidden love”? In either case, anime and manga are both (in)famous for tragic stories of “Not Technically Incest”, where siblings fall in love and fatefully discover they aren’t actually related after all! And we eat it up like popcorn at the movies, time and again.

What cliches do you love or hate the most? And what series is the “worst offender” of cliche-abuse? Leave a comment with your thoughts! You can also follow me on Twitter (@_MostlyNothing_) or on Facebook (@simplyeverythingmostlynothing).

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Karandi says:

    Great list. The bigger, badder, bad guy thing is a problem for a lot of shows because they just end up getting silly (plus the heroes continuously unlocking new powers eventually also gets silly and and excessive). And the amnesia. What is it with anime characters getting amnesia?
    Thanks for sharing, it was really fun to read.


    1. Hahah, glad you liked it and thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. renxkyoko says:

    There’s always a love rival. And I run away from animes that have girls with humungous, jiggly knockers.


    1. Yes!! That one I forgot. Thanks for reading. 😉


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