Top 5 Overused Anime Tropes

Top 5 Overused Anime Tropes

In recent years, we’ve seen many kinds of breakthroughs in all genres of anime where shows try to transcend the boundaries of their demographic and genres to provide new, unique, and quality content.  However, certain tropes that have existed since the inception of entertainment still continue to find a place in many modern shows. While some of these tropes are evergreen, many have not stood the test of time. Let’s look at the Top 5 Overused Anime Tropes.

Top 5 Overused Anime Tropes

5. White Hair Sensei with a Mask

It’s understandable. Gojo Satoru and Kakashi Hatake are unquestionable badasses with a cool and swaggy aura that couldn’t be replicated by any other design. While this isn’t exactly a trend yet, this entry on this list is to address the issues with this becoming a trend in the future. Two prominent anime have already deployed this trope and any more will saturate it.

4. Protagonist Has Some Type of Monster Inside Them

Top 5 nerfs in Boruto
Naruto in despair | Image Courtesy of Studio Pierrot

Be it Naruto, Asta or Yuuji. The characters who have some kind of mythical or powerful being sealed inside them are often overshadowed by side characters of their series in terms of popularity due to this trope.

It acts as a weak and supersaturated crutch for the narrative. Relying on this deus ex machina card diminishes the need for strategic thinking and character growth.

3. Fake Deaths

The use of fake deaths is a trope that can significantly impact the emotional impact and depth of an anime. When a character’s demise is portrayed only later reveal as a ploy or misunderstanding, it can undermine the weight of significant events and dilute the stakes for future conflicts. One Piece is notorious for doing this and it’s always left a sour aftertaste.

2. The Loud, Overoptimistic, and Dumb Protagonist

Black Clover chapter 360 Asta's significance in the story
Image Courtesy via IMDb

It is understandable that the Shounen genre often tries to cater to the underdogs of society, specifically people who are considered ‘Talentless’ or weak or socially awkward. While such characters often lack substantial character development.

Relying solely on one personality quirk can limit the exploration of deeper emotions, personal growth, and nuanced storytelling.

This trope is also often combined with the above-mentioned ‘monster within’ trope, creating an unrealistic and uninteresting narrative as far as the protagonist and their personal journey are concerned.

1. Power of Friendship

This has to be self-explanatory. The trope around which the entire shounen genre is centred around is probably the most annoying trope in all of not just anime, but fiction entirely.

While it can inspire positive themes of unity and loyalty, its overuse can result in a lack of tension and believability. This trope often leads to formulaic resolutions, reducing the impact of conflicts and diluting the overall narrative quality.

Conclusion

While anime tropes can serve as narrative tools, their overuse can hinder creativity, character development, and audience engagement. The repetitive nature of these tropes can lead to predictable storylines, diluted emotional impact, and missed opportunities for exploring complex themes. Ultimately, striking a balance between familiarity and innovation is crucial in ensuring the continued growth and evolution of the anime industry.

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