Japanese Anime Fans Are Growing Tired Of These Tropes

The anime industry, while not as strong as it was back in 2004-2006, is still a booming. During any given week, there will be between 30 to 50 series airing (not counting reruns) on TV, generally during the late hours of night. Most series run for about 11-13 episodes (A few will go between 24-26 episodes). This means that about every three months a new batch of anime series will be released to the masses to be enjoyed, analysed, scrutinised and occasionally revered.

With so many series cycling through, there are bound to be overlaps in theme or commonly used set pieces or plot points. Like the cute mascot. Almost every series has one. Why? Because the cute mascot is a trope that works. But enormous boobs and pretty boys? People are getting sick of that crap.

Still, too much of a good thing can turn people off and in a recent online poll, when people were asked what genres of anime they were tired of seeing, many were eager to voice their opinions. Here are the top 10 genres/tropes people are tired of seeing, with brief descriptions for those unfamiliar with these particular genres (#7 and #6 were tied with the same number of votes and are thus both written as #6):

#10 Looping anime. Stories that involve time travel or some sort of cyclical mechanic that involve people going through the same events again and again, often with the purpose of changing time. Example: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

#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

#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

#7 Club anime Anime that centres on characters in a club (generally a non-athletic club). Example: K-on, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

#6 Battle anime from Jump Self-explanatory. Example: One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z

#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

#4 Anime based on porn games Self-explanatory. Example: Little Busters, Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai

#3 Anime with big name cast but weak content Anime featuring extremely popular voice actors but that fall flat in terms of plot and character development. Example: Kyou Kara Maou, Shiro Kuma Café

#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

#1 Harem anime Anime with a single male protagonist and multiple females (often characterised in specific archetypes) vying for his love. Example: Infinite Statos, Shining Hearts, Negima

Granted, not all anime fit the strict guidelines of what makes a genre a genre and some anime fit multiple categories. Some are absolute classics despite falling into categories that people are sick off. Still, these are general genres or tropes that people seem to think that they would like to see a little less of. Perhaps anime creators will take a hint and stop relying on them so much…

…Yeah right.

飽きてきたなぁ~と思うアニメのジャンル [アニメワン]


    I was getting worried that anime was getting worse, fitting into these cliches, even the "mature" anime like mirrai nikki/steins gate was littered with horrible cliches and haremness, but this season Psycho-pass, zetsuen no tempest, k, jormungand s2 and shin sekai yori have given me some hope.

    Last edited 07/12/12 8:08 pm

    #9 Busty anime
    Yeah this really annoys me as well. I like cleavage as much as the next person but seriously they do not need to be so damn big.

    #6 Battle anime from Jump
    Example: One Piece, Bleach, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z"
    All awesome anime imo. Keep em coming.

    #10: I never thought time loop was that common anime; i actually thought it was rare. I mean, I can't think of even 10 anime that does this (e.g. haruhi suzumiya). I don't think anyone should be tired of this trope at all, since its not that common. Oh wait; tatami galaxy, which was cool.

    #8: Never heard of Chyuuni. But alot of anime that deals with teenage angst/issues well, like FLCL, NG Evangelion. I don't think they're too bad; may be too common perhaps?

    #7: Lol, club anime. I understand that, since there are freaking LOADS of that. Then again, the club aspect really is just the typical highschool setting. Or university setting, like Genshiken.

      By pretty boy anime, you mean like Vampire Knight? Are there actually any good ones with a good plot?

      And porn based anime...like SCHOOL DAYS!

      Also, I immediately thought of ore no imouto when little sister anime was mentioned. Also made me think of that toothbrush scene in bakemonogatari sequel; seriously, what the hell main character?!

      As for Harem anime, i guess it becomes tiring when the characters take on those archetypes; but this is where the anime tropes from tvtropes is founded upon! The foundation of anime tropes itself!!! From the 'First girl is the end girl character goes with', to the 'Around the corner love collision' that typically happens....

      I'm going to go visit tvtropes now.

    I agree with all 10 cliches being overdone. Biggest offenders would probably be 6, and 1.
    Jump battle anime add nothing but OTT stupid fights with ridiculous tropes such as announcing and explaining attacks and only propagate the message "friendship is magic".
    Harem anime... I have no words.

    Isn't anime just one big cliche? If you switch on an anime - any anime - you can be assured of seeing the following things:

    People standing on a roof watching a sunset
    Feathers and/or cherry blossom flying around in the air
    A skinny chick with a sword
    An innocent little girl with a high pitched voice
    An awkward teenage boy
    People aimlessly running in a single direction
    Swooshes and scribbles behind any action scene to make the animation process cheaper
    Fight scenes that have more talking and posing than actual fighting
    Themes and constant references to high school
    A pushy, bossy girl who overreacts to everything
    A brooding, moody guy who talks in monosyllables
    lots of upskirt shots

    If there's one thing we've all learned about the Japanese, it's that they love their formula and do not like to deviate from it. They aggressively defend the status quo. It's one of the main reasons their games industry is stagnating.

      Not sure if trolling, or just ignorant.

      But seriously dude, "anime" simply animation, a medium. It can contain or not contain whatever the director wants. I know plenty of anime that don't contain ANY of the elements you listed, despite your guarantee that they will. But like any other medium, mainstream productions do trend towards "safe" ideas. A lot of American movies have car chases, gun fights, one-liners and not looking at explosions. So that means ALL American movies contain these elements right? Of course not, and you'd be ignorant to think so.

      If you'd like to see some examples of how diverse anime can be, have a look at this video:

      Last edited 10/12/12 6:16 pm

    I miss the late 70s and 80s when it comes to anime. Back then you'd only get a small handful of shows that would make it to the western world, but they were generally good. (talking from a kid's viewpoint at the time) Since it became wildly popular around the world we've been deluged by a flood of crap. Everyone wants a piece of the anime pie.

    Quantity over quality seems to be the rule of the day.

    I disagree.


    Well there are cases where some of these themes can be used poorly. But I am far from tired of good anime that includes any of the above listed qualities.

      You must only have just started watching anime.
      Keep going and in a few more years you will notice how anime never grows up...while you have

    This like is stupid, I disagree with it.

    sword art online is starting to fall into the 'little sister anime' trope. shame too, i really enjoyed the first season, current second season is so full of boring tropes

      You can see the exact point where the author's publisher realized they were making good money off the story and wanted to string it out further.

        a bit like when it was revealed that goku didnt actually die on namek

    Cant argue with this list.. A lot of anime lately has been boring, rehashed or just plain silly. Id love to see some serious anime return or hell If its going to be light and fun - please just something new and avoid the cliché's!

    People where saying the same thing in 2000. There is the shows which just play the tropes, shows which use them and become good and then shows which surpase them and become classics. We will forget all the ones in the first category and then complain about the next seasons stuff.

    I can totally understand #1. Harem animes are done to death SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much and they are crappy! Its just the same old crap ALL the TIME!!!! Nothing new or original when it comes to Harem anime. But I do hate it when people say that there is no creativity left in the world like there is no originality anymore, everything has been done! But there is always creativity, imagination is endless, its up to us to discover it. thats all!

    I find that it's true that the newer anime's have fallen into at least one or many of these categories, some of which aren't terrible genres, just very badly used to obviously create some sort of cult following or for popularity rather than quality.

    I want to see new concepts in settings and thorough plots. Characters that mean something, and are more individual in character. It has to be less about trying to get the most viewers through the most overused ways possible.

    In each season, I find less and less anime that instantly grab me and more and more anime that I find I have to kind of concede to, just because I might give it a chance.

    I agree with the whole list..I am kinda tired of the whole high school settings in anime or having kids fight in adult situations..there have been a lot of good ones but after a while, it just becomes tiring and annoying! I would like to see more adult characters tackling situations instead of little kids or emo teens, who have to save the world and turn in their homework on time. I miss good story plots too...I don't think i have actually watched anime in a while....it just doesn't grab my attention as it once did..maybe that's a good thing. To me anime was a way to have over the top stories, action, adventure and characters without the constraint of live t.v.

    >Weak content
    >Shirokuma Cafe
    hahaha fuck you, Shirokuma Cafe is wonderful. Every episode delivers without fail.

    I don't think Puella Magi madoka magica is a good example for number 10. Hurahi infinite 8 would be a much better example. Mainly because you didn't really see the previous time loops unlike Haruhi. Also, Puella magi was insanely popular. =/

    Yeah, #10 is all people who are still butthurt about Endless Eight.

    Also, if people genuinely dislike these tropes, maybe they should vote with their feet/wallets/whatever. Seems like there's only one or 2 new shows per season that don't rely pretty heavily on one or more of the above.

    I don't think it's seeing the tropes (Though some of them aren't really tropes) that's the problem, it's that they're always done the same way, with the same plots and the same outcomes and the same jokes. Tropes are like lego blocks. You always see them, but it comes down to how they are combined that makes them either awesome or repetitive.

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