Seeing as my first post seemed well-received, I decided to put together another rant listing a few common anime tropes that irk me. Here’s my list on the anime tropes the community should see less of.
1. Abusive love interests
I’ve already covered this in-depth in my first post so I won’t go too deep into it. Essentially, there has been a slew of characters who are presented as love interests (usually of the main character of a series) but do not behave like one at all. I’m talking about “tsundere” type characters like Louise from The Familiar of Zero.
Now there’s no problem showing this type of character since they actually exist in real life. The problem is how they’re normally portrayed in anime. Whenever this type of character performs any kind of abuse to the MC, it’s portrayed as cutesy or funny. Basically, it normalizes or even romanticizes this kind of personality that’s considered toxic in real life. I would hope anime series in the future would provide less of this character type, or if they did, present it in a new way. Perhaps as something horrible instead of cute or funny.
2. The loud “Lesbian”
Now before any SJWs come to attack my post, let me just say first hand that I have nothing against the LGBTQ community. The problem I have with this character type is the same problem I have for the abusive love interest: how they’re portrayed. These characters are the type of person that swoons over a female love interest of the MC and go absolutely ballistic if they see the MC anywhere near that person.
They spew lines like “Stay away from my onee-sama” as if they have the authority to control who their “onee-sama” hangs out with while proceeding to physically hurt the MC. Even if their love for that female love interest seems one-sided, that doesn’t stop them from terrorizing the MC in a similar or sometimes a worse way than the abusive love interest. At most times, the MC didn’t even do anything wrong. Again, it’s a kind of toxic personality that should never be normalized.
3. The “Dense/Virgin” or doormat MC
Oh, look, another overused and poorly done trope. Again, like the previous two, this kind of character does exist in real life. The problem here is how common this type of character is in anime, which is not realistically possible. Seriously, no one is THIS dense. This type of MC remains oblivious to ANY AND ALL types of strategies that the love interests use to gain the MC’s attention. The only strategy left is for the love interests to actually get naked in front of the MC and push them on a bed (which classifies as rape, btw). Every time I see this kind of character, I inevitably shout in my mind “GET A FUKKEN HINT!!!” or any variations of those lines. But alas, even if someone tells them, they probably won’t get it. Ever.
It doesn’t help that these types of characters are those that have super bland personalities. A common argument for this is that it helps the viewer project himself onto THAT character since his personality serves as a mold to fit the viewer’s own personality. However, this is still overused. Probably more overused than the Dense MC Personality. It makes me glad to see that some anime series like Trinity Seven or Shokugeki no Soma are starting to show main characters that aren’t your typical doorstep. They’re actually interesting as individual characters in their respective anime.
4. The power of FRIENDSHIP!
This kind of trope is often used in shounen series, and that’s okay. Again, it’s absolutely fine to emphasize that trust in your friends or family is always a source of strength to anyone trying to overcome hardships in life. The problem here again is how often its utilized in anime. Cue flashback of previous talks with the sensei, promises to that girl back home, or any other cheesy kind of backstory, and out of nowhere the MC suddenly gains the power to beat the shit out of the bad guy that 10 seconds ago he couldn’t even hold a candle to. It’s become annoying how overused this trope has become for the sake of “story progression” when a significant amount of the times it’s been used, it made no sense.
When was the last time thinking about your friends ever helped you lift weights at the gym 10 kilograms over what you’re actually used to?
The tropes under this category are ones that we could do well to have less of, but not as immediate as the ones presented before.
5. Any “Isekai” stuff
My first real isekai anime was InuYasha back in the early 2000s. At the time, the isekai genre wasn’t too prevalent in anime. Fast forward to the presentand for every non-isekai series that exists, there’s around 1 or 2 isekai anime to go along with it.
The stories follow a certain formula: Guy or Girl in the modern age dies (usually by truck-sama), gets transported or reincarnated to an alternate world, and gets new powers from the gods or goddesses of that world. The genre itself isn’t bad so much as it’s becoming overused. A significant amount of the times it IS used today, it’s poorly executed. Maybe a change of pace from the isekai genre altogether would do well for the anime community as a whole. Perhaps even a spin to the genre, such as a Reverse-Isekai type of series like Hataraku Maou-Sama.
6. Overpowered MCs
Don’t you just love it when you’re playing a game in God Mode so that even the toughest enemies die if you so much as sneeze on them? Me neither. It takes away the thrill of the game and the level progression becomes pointless. Apply that into an anime series and you get the same thing. Main characters start becoming dull because no one can hold a candle to their abilities, and forget about character development because sometimes, there is none.
This trope seems to commonly tie with the Isekai genre where the MC’s newfound powers are definitely too much for the alternate world to handle. I don’t know about you, but I like it when my main characters actually WORK for their victories instead of charging into it brain-dead and just defeating enemies like it was just Tuesday. That’s why I like series like Goblin slayer since the main character actually has to work for his wins.
That’s my take on these tropes. What about you? Which anime tropes/cliches do you wish to see less of?