If you've watched anime for any length of time, there are some ticks you've surely caught onto. The fandom loves to point out all of the medium's oddities, but some of the Internet's most meme-worthy jokes about anime are true. There's a danger
Watching a new shonen series? Well, you better expect its main hero to be very loud and in the midst of a grudge match with their rival. Maybe shojo is more your style? Aside from all the senpai jokes, fans will probably see some borderline NSFW school uniforms and need to familiarize themselves with the term "B-
Here at ComicBook, we've compiled ten of the most-frequent anime cliches fans cannot escape. If you are not familiar with at least eight of the following tropes, then you may need to rethink your level of anime obsession:
Did your top anime cliche make our list? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!
With the amount of bloody noses you see in anime, you’d think its characters would be hospitalized all the time. It seems like the little thing can set off a gushing nosebleed in the world of anime, and the trope will not be going away anytime soon.
If you see a lecherous perv peeping on their crush, you can be certain their nose will start bleeding sooner rather than later. The ever-present trope is a strange one with rather odd origins. Due to Japanese censorship, anime began using nosebleeds to signal sexual arousal in prime-time shows where sex is taboo to mention. So, if you see an old man bleeding from his nose in Naruto, you'll know why now.
A handful of the anime tropes which fans run into have little to do with the medium itself. Rather than being an anime-centric quirk, the shtick stems from a cultural belief in Japan. One such occurrence can be found in how anime treats sneezes and their superstitious social implications.
If you have watched an anime, you have surely seen someone sneeze and wonder aloud who was talking about them. It happens all the time on TV, but the phenomenon isn’t just an anime thing; It is a broader Asian superstition. China, Japan, and other countries have superstitions which equate sudden sneezing with being talked about. So, no - anime heroes don't have a sixth sense centered around sneezing.
Ah, the beach episode. It seems every sort of anime will dip into this fun-filled story filler. If you need to burn some time, then the clever world of anime will suggest its heroes hit the beach with some of their friends.
There’s no rhyme or reason behind the repeated use of beach-centric episodes in anime. Shows like Naruto and Kamisama Kiss have all leaned on the fixture. Many shojo series use the outing as an opportunity to show off its cast’s fit bodies, and shonen titles tend to use the beach for filler adventures. But, no matter the genre, you can be sure every other anime you binge will head to the beach at some point.
When it comes to shonen anime, there is a lot of visual input to process. Not only are its heroes larger than life but their action sequences never hold back. Keeping up with who is hitting what can be hard, but anime came up with a way to ease that issue. After all, most of its top-tier fighters like screaming their attacks to let everyone and their villain know what is about to go down.
You can blame series like Dragon Ball for popularizing the trope. Goku is a big fan of shouting “Kamehameha” whenever he charges the signature move, and every ninja in Naruto seemed to take a tip from the Saiyan. Nowadays, it is rare to see a shonen protagonist go to battle without screaming their strategy ahead of time.
It’s a simple rule of thumb; If you are the star of a shonen anime, your stomach has no end in sight. There is no arguing the point. Your caloric intake is way higher than anyone else, and you never gain weight from all that ramen you pack in.
Just think back to the top heroes in shonen these days. Goku is famous for eating fried rice from bowls bigger than his head. One Piece’s crew is filled with big eaters, but Monkey D. Luffy could eat an entire herd of cows and still be hungry. Even Sasha from Attack on Titan has an unhealthy love for potatoes! There is no avoiding the food bug if you’re part of the anime universe.
Welcome to the wide world of anime where you’ll find all-out action, punchy plots, and the bustiest breasts. No, seriously - if anime has gotten a bad reputation for enything, it is egregious jiggle physics.
Yes, the medium has such a problem with up-sizing its heroines’ breasts that a term was created to talk about how they move. Jiggle physics refers to the unnatural way ginormous breasts move in any anime, and you only have to watch High School DxD for a few minutes to see the science in practice. Not only do a good chunk of anime ladies have 48V breasts, but they seem to move as if they had a mind of their own.
If you are on a diet, then you may want to abstain from anime for a bit. Or, at least, try not to watch it when you are fasting. The medium is not immune to Japan’s love of cuisine, and plenty of its shows lean in hard to food porn aesthetics.
Studio Ghibli is famous for its unbelievable delicious-looking meals. Even D-list titles will do their best to make its main characters’ meals look bomb even if the rest of the series is animated poorly. The whole food porn trend has only gotten worse as some fans take screenshots of anime food to post on their Instagrams. And, if you have seen Food Wars, then you know the industry is willing to take its food porn to a very literal level.
It’s tragic to think about, but anime is not inclusive when it comes to parents. Sure, there are all kinds of families represented in anime, but the medium’s top series have a tendency to orphan its heroes.
Naruto Uzumaki? Orphaned the day he was born. Goku? He was orphaned twice by his actual parents and then Grandpa Gohan. Even shojo figures like Tohru from Fruits Basket and Haruhi of Ouran High School Host club know what it’s like to lose a parent. The lack of parental oversight may give the characters freedom to do whatever without a curfew, but come on... You’d think being an orphan is a full-on requirement to lead an anime with how many orphans there are.
When it comes to famous anime franchises, titles like Dragon Ball and One Piece should come to mind. The shonen genre is filled with series which have transcended cultures to become worldwide classics, but all of those top shows have something in common: fillers, fillers, and more fillers.
Yes, fillers are the bane of every anime fan’s existence. Shows like Bleach have become more famous for its abundant filler arcs than their actual stories. When a long-running anime gets too close to where its source material is, it will pump the breaks on its canon storyline to fill time with some studio-original pieces. This would be totally fine, you know, if the asides made any kind of sense.
There’s a well-known joke in the anime fandom that no one can escape. If you are ever asked to play Spot That Anime Hero, the rules are simple - really. Just point out the first character you see with an outrageous hairdo, and you are sure to win.
Anime’s fantastical roots make it easy for characters to have unnatural hair, but such styles have become the norm for its heroes. Bleach gave Ichigo some naturally orange hair, Sakura from Naruto has soft pink locks, and Yugi of Yu-Gi-Oh! has the most insane haircut ever. There’s no telling how much time it takes the duelist to do his hair, and his style is tame compared to other Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists.