Top 10 Tedious Anime Cliches


Anime fans have ranked what they consider to be the most hackneyed and cliched situations ever to plague virtually every anime ever made…

The ranking:

1. The wishy-washy protagonist gets all the girls

2. A new power awakens in a desperate pinch!

3. After starting out as an enemy, after many tribulations they become an ally!

4. A hitherto invincible new enemy character somehow loses to the protagonist…

5. Despite being excessively popular, for some reason the protagonist is completely insensitive

6. The useless drop-out protagonist becomes the heroic saviour of the world

7. The heroine descends from on high

8. As soon as a girl is accidentally pushed over, someone will burst in and leap to conclusions

9. The girls and boys whose beauty is revealed only when they take off their glasses…

10. The rival who is both sporty and clever

A ranking which could probably be summed up as “harem anime”…

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    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    22:32 19/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Most of these are shonen action cliches. Only 1, 5 and 8 are harem.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:17 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    No, 1 happens in almost EVERY anime.

    Avatar of Abel Liegod
    Comment by Abel Liegod
    22:29 22/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Number 1 happens in every anime, even when the girls dont realize it!
    Being a main character isnt suffering...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:14 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    well there is always the tenchi muyo universe, so 2 and 4 can apply, and 9 and 10 are in ichigo 100%, and linebarrel for 6. As long as shonen crosses with harem ><

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:28 23/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    actually in linebarrel he's an average, and after become a factor he's a top scorer in school~ so #6 don't apply

    and I think Tojou Aya is cute with glasses :P

    Avatar of Kevin Wu
    Comment by Kevin Wu
    13:14 25/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    no, all of these are harem tropes

    shonen action: the desperate director wants to attract attention of desperate fans who has no girl friends by making the most useless character a useful one to mirror the sad life and dream of an otaku while using an overused template over and over and over and over and over till it hurts too much and the studio flopps and never left a legacy behind.

    one particular character comes to mind... IKARI SHINJI
    oh how has thou forsaken thy world.... good thing Eva was a troll fest by the end

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:40 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    #7 too.

    girls rain is always nice.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:15 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I could really use some girl rain now

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:23 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    -adds to list-
    the pathetic excuse of a man aka the protagonist, always seems to get the best looking girl

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    23:31 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Adding to the list;
    xx - The main character, despise having the most beautiful girls in the world, devoted and full on desire... its an idiot, afraid of ecchi,sex,feelings and womans overall.

    I dont demand sex scenes, just a more decided, warm, dedicated male rol, i only see those in Yoi...

    Avatar of Meester Kennedy
    Comment by Meester Kennedy
    23:43 19/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    This isn't always the case. Kanon can be considered a 'harem' anime, and Yuichi is cool as hell when it comes to the ladies. It's implied that he sleeps with Ayu after they become a couple, too. He's just one of the many reasons why I love Kanon so much.

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    14:08 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i already have the munny to buy every kannon episode next convention,still havent seen it.

    Avatar of vanilka
    Comment by vanilka
    22:20 19/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    11. Whenever there's a sad moment, it'll start to rain. (The character runs desperately, only to trip and fall.)

    12. Whenever there happens to be a (semi)naked girl accident, the guy gets his butt kicked (even if it's the girl's fault).

    13. Unnecessary beach trip (in the middle of crisis).

    14. A girl groping other girls' breasts in a changing room/bath/...

    Not that I hate them but sometimes it gets annoying. Especially in a bad show.

    Avatar of renstalon
    Comment by renstalon
    23:38 19/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    15. The evil master sends his servants conveniently at the heroes one by one in order from least powerful to most difficult to let the characters level up effectively.

    Why they don't just send EVERYTHING and EVERYONE at them all at once is apparently due to the fact that it is against RPG regulations.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:32 20/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    or the evil lord defeats the heroes but spares them saying they are not worth killing only to get owned at the end.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:51 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Dragonball/Naruto/bleach style... 10 ep to defeats 1 subboss :P

    The hero is so weak need girls to resolve a fight

    The girl more bold and busty is yuri

    Although live in a harem, the hero will not sleep with any girl....

    Siscom love that always ends in nothing

    Animes that after 2 seasons ends without a final

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:54 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    In an anime this usually lasts from around 3 to 5 episodes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:53 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And once the evil lord gets owned in the end, he proceeds to tell about his life story on why and how he became the "evil" character he is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:20 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Yeah but what evil overlord is going to think, "Holy shit, three spunky teenagers are attacking my fortress, I'd better send at least fifty of my top men after them!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:49 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    yea, but ONE AFTER ANOTHER!
    And as they keep converting/destroying more and more of his minions, he'll NEVER get an idea to send all his henchmen AT ONCE, and finish the party off for good!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:48 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Don't u know? Evil masterminds can't multitask for shit, and their micromanagement is Bronze league-level.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:16 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Their macro is awesome, however, due to the fact that they start off at a much higher level than the protagonist.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:50 25/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    more like the evil overlord had more resources to begin with and for some reason the protagonist didn't read the manual before he started playing.

    Avatar of Firaku
    Comment by Firaku
    01:06 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    20. The protagonist is a complete indecisive pussy and shit has to go down before he mans up and takes action. Usually while the hot girls keep shit from getting out of control.

    Why can't he just be a man from the start and pawn everything? Cos it wouldn't create fake suspense.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:17 22/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    you mean pwn

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:13 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Thanks for your post xD it's so true that I laughed

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    06:50 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    forgot one

    #16 anytime the protagonist is trying to get some, some little sister or friends of the girl cockblock the hero.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    04:44 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Freeza saga in Dragonball Z.

    Avatar of Hawke
    Comment by Hawke
    04:02 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL! That's a funny way to think about it, but its true!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:24 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, Mazinger Z, corrects this problem in Mazinkaiser OVA series, he gets pwned my a dogpile of bad guys from the get-go... but since this IS Mazinkaiser, they had to get him outta the way somehow first.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:22 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    At least in Gurren Lagann they have an explanation for why the Anti-Spiral does this. Not for Lordgenome though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:15 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    16. Every time when the guy accidentally touches the girl's breast or sees her in her underwear, she screams like she is being attacked by Freddie Kruger with the chainsaw as his dick.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:59 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    They do occasionally. Madoka? Easy shit until Walpurgis Night.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:59 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is actually somewhat realistic up to a point. You don't send your best to deal with something minor. You send enough. There is a story due to the character overcoming what the Evil Overlord judges as enough force, the other 1000+ that fails aren't main characters.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:19 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Oh right, that totally makes sense. I suppose the next thing to do is send someone slightly stronger, and remember to sprinkly sme powerups along the route.

    Avatar of Yamato
    Comment by Yamato
    06:15 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    true, it is somewhat realistic, but these villains really have a nasty habit of underestimating the protagonists. It shouldn't be "They just took out my lowliest commander. Send my second lowliest commander to finish them!", but rather "They just killed a commanding officer! Shit just got real!" At least in One Piece, I could note a subversion: when the navy first recognized Luffy as a threat, they immediately gave him a (relatively high) bounty of 30 million. Had anyone just been able to account for Dragon being there, Luffy would've actually been stopped by them shortly afterwards.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    07:21 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's not so much a problem with the story, but a problem with the atmosphere. They don't establish the 'commander' level antagonist as being powerful enough to handle every other issue often enough. Since the archetype is so common, many authors just assume (often correctly) that most watchers will understand his power by the character buildup. That doesn't mean they shouldn't give them some kind of impression to the audience of HOW dangerous they are.

    An antithesis is Bleach. How Ichigo gets so ungodly powerful so quickly without all THAT much commentary about it in such a way that makes sense. Surpassing centuries-old shinigami with experience the likes of which he couldn't even fathom being taken out by a high-schooler requires a bit more explanation.

    ...just a bit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:06 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe, but we have saying in the Army: "If first attempt fails, call artillery".
    Calling tanks on lone snipers also seem work well.
    Airstrikes works fine against RPG ambushes.
    105mm MGS rounds fired from 1 mile are somewhat effective against rebels waiting in ambush for us to get close.

    Overkill is rarely nessesary, but mostly effective.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:21 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    in real life you just get shot down, you did bot have any chance at avenging you mom... some dirty 45yrs old poped you a 9mm and hid you in 5 mins.... like that french movie i hope was not a documentary... those 2 french kids had no chance even with all that buildup... thing is TV lets things not getting shitty... RL raepez you!

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:22 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    They kind of -have- to underestimate the protagonist though. If they didn't, the protagonist would be finished off near the start of the anime/game and it would be over before anything got accomplished. :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:27 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Villains obviously did not read the evil overlord list =(

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:50 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    01:28 20/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    16. guy enters room/bath when the girl/girls are changing

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:53 20/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    17. At any hot springs resort, neither the male or female characters seems to know whether it's time for 'male only', female only', or 'mixed bathing', causing an embarassing situation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:59 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    18. Whenever any male character gets even slightly sexually aroused, his nose starts to bleed. Happens with girls sometimes, but almost always the guys.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:59 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's over 9000!

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    04:50 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    They forgot! LOL

    19. Just some of the protagonist's ally gets beaten or some dead the Hero protagonist comes late because he had a training to become a lot more stronger then he show off his powers to the antagonist!

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    23:37 19/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Hi, my tought on your points ;}

    11-agreed, but i like it.

    12-hate it, tsunderes who punch others even when its their fault, its crap.

    13-IF girls are cute/beautiful AND a harem anime its a must.

    14-not hate,but yes, unnecesary, interesting girls-only conversation its enough for a bathscene.

    Avatar of Yamato
    Comment by Yamato
    06:27 20/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    seconded on #12. It especially sickens me that these psychopathic bitches have to be so damn popular (which is probably why the cliche is in place to begin with; is Akihabara full of fucking masochists or something?). I'd probably be okay with it if they were actually well-written enough to maybe justify their usage of domestic violence and the fact that they're somehow capable of getting away with it, but the majority of the time, that's not the case.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    07:28 20/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Honestly, that too is exaggeration. Agreed, it's no less annoying, but it's based on Disney/Warner Bros.-esque influence from way back. The exaggerated punch into the sky thing for example is meant to be an expressive action, it's just a tad overused if you want tons of anime. I don't watch as much, and so many things don't annoy me that annoy others.

    One example is Love Hina. It was amusing at first when she sent Keitaro flying, but then it pisses you off over time, just enough that future events feel that much better when they happen BECAUSE it pissed you off, so it ended up being a useful story element. And one thing that I found amusing since I read the manga recently is that it didn't piss me off in the manga, because they turned it into a great running gag that the characters all recognized and commented on in terms of Keitaro being an immortal, which I found hilarious, while in the anime, it wasn't given fun attention. I think it was because Keitaro didn't seem as pathetic in the manga when I read him, even if he was worried, he wasn't doing overacted groaning like he did in the anime in my head. But then again, that was later in the manga beyond the place the anime went.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:12 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    yes there are a lot of m in akihabara...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:40 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Love Hina doesn't count. It's better than 99.99% of all the generic copy cat shit harem anime's of the late 2000's and early 2010's.

    Love Hina is an example of Harem when it was actually good.

    Just as with Tenchi.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:30 20/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    And everyone knows that important conversations are all held on school rooftops...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:57 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Rain is symbolism. It's good if used well.

    17. When a character says something that's supposed to be deep and profound and then out of nowhere the wind starts blowing.

    Avatar of G
    Comment by G
    05:05 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "Rain is symbolism. It's good if used well."

    Agreed, but Japanese media has overused this specific trope to the point where it has become one of the most painfully obvious cliches. Shame, really.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:05 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Someone yelling whilst the camera pans to the sky.

    Avatar of Gradius
    Comment by Gradius
    23:17 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    #12 is so so SO stupid and chilly, I wonder why they still do that!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:57 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    If i were the guy, I would kick her ass first.

    Comment by Anonymous

    if i was the girl and u walked into me, i'd call the police first >=\

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:26 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol, chilly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:13 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Girls who are prone to cry easily. What's really weird is that almost all H-manga have the girls crying at some point during sex.

    Comment by Anonymous

    -.- it's not weird at all considering most girls in h-manga are being put there against their will,

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:13 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    the villain explain his evil plan to the heroes only to get owned at the end and the heroes put the villain's plan at the last minute thanks to the information they received beforehand from the villain himself.

    how i wish every villain could be like Ozymandias
    "I'm not a Republic serial villain. Do you think I'd be explaining my masterstroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting the outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago"

    Avatar of Firaku
    Comment by Firaku
    01:12 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ZOMG! When protagonists explain their attacks so they can get easily countered by the antagonists and vice versa, keep that shit secret, how you fight is your only weapon.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:51 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    11 is normal, you can't have a good story without symbolism

    Avatar of Alice
    Comment by Alice
    23:54 19/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    You can have symbolism without cliche, though.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    07:33 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    By default I think symbolism means cliche if you think about it. It's not a symbol if everyone doesn't recognize it as a symbol. A symbol will be a 'cliche' every time if you're doing it right, but just like Iron Man, you can have a well-executed cliche. Much of the Iron Man movie was cliche, but the movie was phenomenally executed and didn't feel like it (unless you were looking for it).

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:21 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    by default most of the time someone tries to use symbolism, it becomes a cliche because whenever someone gets a real stroke of genius, and executes one brilliant example of symbolism, or anything for that matter, in media, it gets copied into millions of replicas which never have as strong of an impression as the original... a prime example would be superman when it first came out, the simile "as strong as a speeding bullet" was considered to be one of the best uses of poetic devices ever, but now, no one cares cause it's been used and overused...
    remember ep10 on madoka? that turned out great, of course, after stein's gate ep 13, it would seem that yet another cliche will be born after a year or so... again...

    Avatar of OTIKA
    Comment by OTIKA
    23:55 19/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can (how can one rain in space?), but you gotta admit that it's just not the same without that finishing touch of weather.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:43 21/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    they allways have some hidden biome more cliche
    than the map in mincraft... like in trigun in the space parts they had fake outdoors... if it was gintama you probably would see urinals flush to space only to see the stupid prince who flushed your moment...or simply some one having a touchy moment with rain will have it cut when they realize some one is peeing... how can gintama end at 200 and one piece and detective connan are 500+? the gintama setup is infinite possibilities and yet a show about a hidden box or a shrunk kid gets more...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:55 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @OTIKA 23:55 :

    It's a meteor shower!

    (And now my spacesuit is full of tiny holes, and the air is leaking out, and I'm getting all chilly, and it is so sad ... )

    Avatar of Kevin Wu
    Comment by Kevin Wu
    13:27 25/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    sounds like all anime these days...
    i can understand, and enjoy bath occasional bath scenes
    even boys walking in on girls in bath seems ok, but both the girl AND the boy needs to stop freaking out so much, THERES STEAM EVERYWHERE WHEN YOU BATHE ANYWAYS!
    rain is fine tbhimo, but should be used in a complete opposite way from time to time

    fan service, and lonely otaku service (in the event where the main character is the split image of a worst case scenario guy in real life with a dream to become successful one day) are fine. but just NOT the way those retarded directors have been trying to spoon feed us lately. YES I do want to see Rei naked, NO i don't want her to be on a beach for no reason! Yes i want an emotional break up, NO it doesn't have to involve some sort of rain! YES i want to see some one man the fuck up! NO it doesnt need to be the same fricking guy every anime! YES i want a fucking badass antagonist type guy, NO he doesn't even have to be the bad guy! YES! i want to see people gaining new powers! NO THEY DONT NEED TO EXPLAIN IT IN DETAILS!

    as quote hellsing abridged; Allucard:"fuck you, thats' how"


    FUCK, more directors needs to be educated in the epic shits, and not base their bad guys off of the storm troopers from starwars. Get them started on hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, that should fucking teach them a thing or two about the entertainment industry! THAT WAY ANIME CAN ACTUALLY MAKE IT BIG AND STOP BEING SOMETHING THAT ONLY LONLY OTAKUS WHO ARE OBVIOUSLY LOLICONS IN DENIAL WATCHES!

    oh and, all the gundams that came out in the past ten years except unicorn (even that was tainted...) sucked shit, and that's because they decided to give the protagonists a dark and dangerous past...

    so heres my number infinity: the protagonist of a mecha or action show will have a terrible, terrible past, where their entire character's based on.

    I want my ' screw the past I have a whole life ahead of me ' guy, right now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:29 19/08/2011 # ! Drivel (-0.8)

    Agreed, bro. 1 and 12 makes me wanna rape and kill the anime creators.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:50 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL funny shit.

    Comment by Anonymous

    it's mangaka's you should be angry about. They wrote it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:40 20/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    With creators I mean the bastard who creates the plot and situation.

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