10 all-too-common occurrences in Japanese anime that foreigners are fed up with

Let’s play a game. I’m going to say a word, and you have to say the first thing that pops into your mind. OK, ready? Here it goes: ANIME!

What was the first thing that you thought of? Maybe the stereotypical big eyes, or common visual aids like sweat drops? Regardless, chances are you weren’t alone in your thinking–even though there are some incredibly original and groundbreaking works of Japanese animation, there are unfortunately just as many series with incredibly clichéd story lines.  
It appears that an article covering this topic from last year on science and science-fiction-themed website i09 has recently been making the rounds online. Translated versions of the piece, titled “10 completely annoying anime cliches,” have just recently popped up on Chinese and Japanese websites under the tagline “10 conventions in anime that foreigners are fed up with.”
We bet you’ll have no problem recognizing them!

1. The likelihood of the main character missing his or her parents is inexplicably high.

Perhaps it’s a tactic to evoke sympathy from the viewers as the protagonist struggles through life alone…or perhaps it’s just a scheme to cut production costs.
OK, so maybe our hearts do bleed a little…
Image: TVTropes

2. Just how much food can they put away?!

Eating Godzilla-sized portions of food seems to be an especially common trait of characters serialized in Shōnen Jump Magazine. We guess they need the calories for all the epic battles they get themselves into. Just never take them out for dinner, or else you’ll soon find yourself in debt!
Goku, Luffy, and Naruto, three of the anime world’s biggest eaters by a long shot.
Image: Dragon Ball Wiki

3. There are waaay too many chicks around the main guy.

In a certain subgenre of anime, the male protagonist finds himself fortuitously living among a slew of females, whether they were invited or not.
We bet you almost forgot about this classic series which was broadcast on Toonami circa 2000!
Image: RocketNews24

4. …And even though that guy is surrounded by cute girls, he can never get any action.

The “I have to study excuse” is super lame, so maybe he’s just shy?
Pick a girl, any girl. Seriously, come on.
Image: Kawapaper

5. The main guy always accidentally falls into a female’s chest.

How…strategic. We guess there is a plus side to being clumsy.
▼Convenient cushioning, perhaps?
Image: i09

6. The likelihood of a salaryman on public transportation being a pervert is ridiculously high.

Oh, and panty thieves should just be BANNED already.
Watch out for these repeat offenders in particular:
Image: Arlong Park

7. Girls who are brazen on the surface but shy on the inside.

Known as tsundere (ツンデレ) in Japanese, it refers to that hot-cold personality you see in so many anime girls who don’t hesitate to swing a punch at a guy during one moment but then are acting all love-struck, kind, and girly in the next.
Life advice: NEVER piss off a mechanic with a wrench.

Image: Karmaburn

8. Our (child) hero must save the world!

The fate of the world rests on a young child’s shoulders, and the Japan Self-Defense Force never feels the need to intervene!
Because 14-year-olds are SO much more qualified.
Image: Evangelion Wiki

9. Around the 6th to 8th episodes, the girls take an obligatory trip to a hot spring.

Is this trend showcasing Japanese culture, or is it just plain fan service?
OK, so this is technically episode 12. Close enough.

10. There’s always a running scene during the opening credits. 

SO TRUE. For proof, check out 0:32-1:o5 of the following video. There are a lot of other scenes that you’ll recognize as well–mainly stuff that is supposed to get the viewer all pumped up to watch the show.

So, what were the reactions of some of Japanese people who read the list?

“We Japanese also notice those things and are tired of them too.”

“It’s been said since a long time ago that the percentage of orphans in anime is high.”

“But Spider-Man and Batman also lost their parents when they were young!”

“Number 6–is that just anime??”

“How about ‘there’s strange English in the theme song’?”

“Why do they have a problem with characters running in the opening credits? Haha.”

“I’m more curious about what kinds of anime foreigners are watching!”


This list is certainly not exhaustive, and we could probably piece together several more pages of examples. Some other common occurrences we came up with include magical girl transformations, budding romances under the falling cherry blossoms, love triangles, the arrival of a mysterious transfer student, cute/annoying mascots, childhood friend who is in love with main character and is one sided, foreign characters who can speak perfect Japanese, nosebleeds, hot characters that always get the mc, mc that always thinks she's ugly but she's beautiful which is why she gets the popular guy, and students who wake up late for school and run out the door with toast in their mouths.
Feature image: deviantART: LadyGT
Sources: Xinhua.JP, i09 via Hachima Kiko

Love triangle... which BTW.. hate the mc... felt bad for both of the guys she was no worth it.





Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section below!