A Noob’s Guide to Anime Cliches

Anime is great, but quite frankly full of cliches. Here is a comprehensive guide to some of the most common.


“Omurice” or “Omelette rice” is a Japanese dish consisting of fried rice wrapped in a thin sheet of fried egg, generally topped with tomato sauce. The dish frequently appears in anime and is often emphasised as a plot element in various anime such as “Hanasaku Iroha” and “Charlotte.” Omurice is a classic Japanese dish, but it has countless variations and grants the server the ability to write anything they want in ketchup. The ability to write a message on top of the omelette is a useful plot device which has been adopted by many anime.


Almost everyone is good looking in anime, and big breasted babes are abundant. This often prompts male leads and other perverted characters to become aroused. In anime, this lust is symbolised through a nosebleed. Sometimes the nosebleeds trickle out sheepishly and shamefully, but more often than not, they are greatly exaggerated and pour out. Sometimes, the nosebleeds are so severe that huge jets of blood can send characters flying high into the sky. No kidding.


When it comes to main characters, almost always either one or both of their parents are absent or dead. Sometimes their deceased/absent parents are used as a plot device, but generally, the issue is just ignored. In fact, sometimes parents are never mentioned at all. For action anime, parents are often back-burner as they often hold essentially no relevance to the plot.


Witty banter is always fun to watch, and almost every shounen anime is chock full of it. Why? Rivals of course! It’s not uncommon to see a show that features two characters seemingly equal in strength who just don’t get along, always bickering and constantly trying to outdo each other. However, generally, these characters are in fact close and care for each other deep down.


The sexualisation and objectification of females is a big issue in anime, but it’s unfortunately very apparent. Almost every single anime features female characters with humongous breasts, completely disproportionate to the rest of their body. Their breasts are often unintentionally groped or squished by other characters.


Many popular anime are riddled with plot armour, usually in the form of “the power of friendship.” This refers to the bubble that characters exist within, where they cannot be harmed so long as they have their friends or “believe.” Even when they’re completely losing a fight, they can quickly overcome their opponents by thinking of their friends and loved ones, despite this being totally illogical.


Many anime characters attend school, and a cliché commonly observed in anime is the seat that main characters tend to occupy. It seems that they almost always sit by the window. Many classroom scenes feature characters dramatically gazing out the window whilst thinking deep thoughts. Despite there being no solid explanation for this, there is speculation that suggests that this makes animation easier.


Logic would say that you don’t want to announce what attack you’re going to use on your enemy because then they can easily plan ahead and avoid getting pummelled. However, for some reason, anime characters simply can’t resist shouting out the name of their attack before they use it.


As discussed earlier, essentially all female characters in anime have ridiculously huge bosoms. A recurring cliché in a lot of anime is that female characters are overly paranoid that males are perving on them. Often male leads are accused of intentionally looking at or touching the breasts of females, and will frequently get caught up in misunderstandings in which they are mistaken for perverts.


Most anime feature male leads, and they often a golden child who attracts a great deal of attention from female admirers. Due to the overwhelming amount of interest from large-chested girls, the male is often caught up in a state of confusion over which girl to pick, thus getting caught up in a harem. He generally lightly flirts with all the girls whilst still dismissing them and brushing them off as they desperately compete for his attention.


Characters with dark edgy pasts are particularly apparent in shonen manga. Often the main character will have to deal with an internal struggle due to a dark past or traumatic childhood. Their edgy past is often conveyed through flashbacks and the character’s too-cool-for-school attitude. Generally speaking, the dark edgy past serves as a source of motivation for characters and allows them to triumph.


Whether it be hot spring scenes or random beach episodes, apparently anime will look for any excuse to show girls in bikinis. Hot spring scenes are often shown in shoujo anime, and often feature flat-chested girls who envy their larger bosomed peers, and a herd of males who attempt to peek into the female bath, which generally results in a spectacular failure. Beach scenes and episodes often appear in anime for seemingly no apparent reason other than fanservice.


A common archetype seen in shounen anime is a dim-witted male protagonist. This character is generally the brawn-over-brains type who either doesn’t know his own strength or is overconfident in his abilities. This character is often comically oblivious to other characters and is sometimes obsessed with food, frequently overeating.


A massively famous anime cliché is the late school girl. Often a staple of shoujo anime, a young girl will run down the street shouting “I’m late, I’m late!” Usually clutching a piece of toast between her teeth as she runs. However, in a shocking turn of events, it often turns out that the school girl isn’t even late after all.

Do these cliches annoy you or are they okay? Comment any anime cliches that aren’t on the list!

Huggable maknae blogger who likes CLC and raisin toast

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