Here’s a post where I’d usually do a review, but instead this article on Kotaku caught my eye. According to a recent online poll, anime viewers ranked the tropes in anime that they were tired of seeing.
While I can agree with a majority of these tropes, I can’t agree with the some of the examples the (Kotaku) writer has given for these. I tend to usually dislike the Kotaku East articles because they usually cover making Japan and/or anime fans look bad in certain aspects. I have a social dislike towards my kind (otaku), but still respect their devotion to what they love. Since my reply to the article would be quite long if I replied directly to the article, I figure I’ll put down my thoughts here in a somewhat private place.
#10 Looping anime.
Stories that involve time travel or some sort of cyclical mechanic that involves people going through the same events again and again, often with the purpose of changing time.
Example: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
By mentioning Madoka Magica as an example, a spoiler has also been mentioned. I hate giving spoilers, so this annoys me. Additionally, the mechanic is rarely used to my knowledge. The main use is to further accentuate the heartache of the primary anomaly (the one under the loop). The only other example I can think of is the Haruhi Suzumiya series’ Endless Eight arc.
#9 Busty anime
Anime with overuse of a certain part of the female anatomy to garner male viewers.
Example: Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Seikon no Quasar, Freezing
This I can agree with, but to a certain degree. There is a difference between fanservice and FANSERVICE. That difference is definitely not the Caps Lock key. Most shows these days accentuate the female body to arouse the target male audience, we know that. However, in a series like Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, the plot is the real driving device while fanservice is a bonus. This goes to show that a popular series CAN have a good story AND good, busty character designs
#8 Average Chyuuni anime (Chyuuni is a Japanese slang term used to describe common symptoms of young teenagers, including angst, inflated self-consciousness, or general teenage hipsterism.)
Anime with a focus on aspects that are considered Chyuuni.
Example: Chyuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai
To be honest, this season’s Chyuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai is the first instance of hearing the term Chyuuni. But isn’t that a stage of life itself? To become hipster-ish, or believe in fantasy, teen angst, etc. Stories of characters like this and how they overcome their own emotional/psychological scars is a way of telling a Hero’s Journey. So I definitely can’t agree with this being within the top 10.
#6 Club anime
Anime that centers on characters in a club (generally a non-athletic club).
Example: K-on, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
In reality, joining a club is a great way to expand one’s horizons, make new friends and stuff. However, lately there have been a number of anime that use this topic. I, too, have become quite annoyed with them. It also confines the characters to one specific place (the clubroom), which gets boring. I’ll have to agree with the ranking and examples.
#6 Battle anime from Jump
Example: One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z
This one is inevitable and cannot be stopped. Shueisha’s Shounen Jump manga are one of Japan’s most read published magazines. The primary age range of the readers range from pre-teen to adult. Animating these long-running series makes for more ways to make money and appease the viewers by animating amazing fight scenes. I definitely can see why this trope has hit the top-10, considering filler episodes are often boring and the series is just too damn long.
#5 Pretty boy anime
Anime geared for females where most of the major characters are depicted as handsome/dashing/sexy males.
Example: Hiiro no Kakera, K
I am not going to knock on what the ladies like. They can like what they like. Only thing I hate is when an entire season is riddled with these pretty boy characters. Balance, people, BALANCE!
#4 Anime based on porn games
Example: Little Busters, Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai
First off, Little Busters is NOT a porn game (unless you count the expansion pack that mostly irrelevant to the main story). That is what pissed me off the most about this entire post. At least get your facts straight. Besides, a lot of good writing goes into these Visual Novel games. Although, the sheer number of anime being based on these have dramatically increased in the past decade. This one also ties in with the #1 ranker.
#3 Anime with big name cast but weak content
Anime featuring extremely popular voice actors that fall flat in terms of plot and character development.
Example: Kyou Kara Maou, Shiro Kuma Café
I have favorite voice actors/actresses. I get excited and possibly watch a series for the main fact that someone I like is voicing in it. But, like I have said before in previous posts, I am a story kind of guy. If the story and/or comedy gags are boring, I’m dropping the series.
#2 Little sister anime
Anime that focuses on an older brother-younger sister relationship that can border on incest.
Example: Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne, Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne
I can definitely, DEFINITELY see why this has been ranked #2. Little sister anime have gotten really popular in the past several years. Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t help that the title names for these series are absurdly and unnecessarily long (see examples). I like some of these series, but my preference lies with the non-blood-related types that never win in the end, despite how much they deserve to win. It makes it all the more sweeter when those girls DO win.
#1 Harem anime
Anime with a single male protagonist and multiple females (often characterized in specific archetypes) vying for his love.
Example: Infinite Statos, Shining Hearts, Negima
Another example killer: Negima. A series that has gotten TWO anime adaptations and both are still wrong. The manga turned into an amazing magic battle series with power levels and everything. Negi even turns into a super saiyan lighting form AND some sick awesome demon form in the later parts of the series. He has a harem of an entire classroom of girls, but they are not all useless as they gain magic power themselves. Their love for him is often set aside for the sake of the main story, even. Negima IS a harem anime, but the overall series in manga format mixes that up. And that harem aspect is what usually makes people not check out the series.
Well, back to the topic of harem anime. I will admit that there was a time, somewhere in my life, that I watched a majority of harem anime. Afterwards, I got so sick of the genre and knew almost every cliche. It does not help that the main male character is usually the most dense and retarded person you’ll ever lay eyes upon. Why does this stupid, boring guy get all the girls? Because he is a nice guy with a kind heart, despite being physically normal and would lose in a real fight? Yeah, that mainly works in anime. The big boom in harem anime in recent years is greatly attributed similarly to the #4 ranker, Anime based on porn games. Visual novels (porn and non-porn) have a set cast of girls for different “routes” that the main character would take to hook up with a certain girl. Best way anime has been able to adapt this is to make the series harem-like, slightly go into each girl’s backstory, but focus on one “true end” girl. One way I can see this to be an easy out for animation studios is that the story and designs are already done. They just need to rewrite and redesign to adapt an animation out of it. Additionally, having multiple female characters attribute to viewers’ likes, thus resulting in more audience and merchandise. I am sick of harem anime too, but I know it is not going to go away.
That ends my rant. I wish I could have kept it shorter, but I had to put this out there for it would merely bother me until I forgot about it. It certainly is sad that the anime industry is declining. The main thing I love about anime are the stories that are presented within a mere 12-26 episode series. You just don’t really find that anywhere else.