The 9 Most Annoying Anime Tropes and Clichés I Can’t Stand

Tired of seeing the damsel in distress and fights that last an eternity? These are just some of the anime tropes that need to end.

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As unique as many anime series are, it's rare to find one that doesn't participate in a certain trope. Some anime use the same type of scenes, characters, and episode patterns—but for what reason?

Maybe anime tropes exist out of laziness or fan service. Either way, they get annoying and redundant after you watch enough shows. You're sure to notice these annoying anime tropes in almost every series.

1. Oblivious Main Male Character

You'd think that the main character of an anime would have some degree of intelligence. Instead, many main characters (who are mostly male) are inflicted with utter obliviousness.

They're completely clueless when it comes to girls who are interested in them and can't think for themselves. After a while, it's frustrating to watch an anime with a main character who has no backbone.

2. Beach Episodes

Beach or pool episodes appear in just about every anime. These filler episodes serve no purpose whatsoever and contribute absolutely nothing for the main storyline. Fan service is the only reason why beach episodes exist—it gives viewers the chance to see their favorite characters romp around in swimsuits.

3. Overexplaining Fight Sequences

When you watch an anime that involves fight scenes, you'll notice that the dueling characters like to yell out every move they're about to perform. You'd think that this is counterintuitive—yelling out your attacks allows enemies to predict your next step.

However, the yelling doesn't seem to have any effect on the battle. Somehow, the enemy still manages to get hurt even though they have more than enough time to get out of the way.

4. Weak Female Characters

Not all anime feature powerful female characters. Unfortunately, many anime have fragile women that come off as helpless. These weak women are often ditzy and play the damsel in distress.

You'll especially notice this in Elizabeth from The Seven Deadly Sins, Sakura from Naruto, and Asuna from Sword Art Online.

As painful as these characters might be to watch, we shouldn't demonize them. The creators of weak female characters are likely influenced by sexist stereotypes.

5. Mysterious Characters With a Dark Past

There's always one character in an anime who doesn't say much, almost never smiles, and is utterly cold-hearted. These characters have become hardened thanks to their tragic past.

Sasuke from Naruto is a prime example of this annoying trope. When you see so many characters with the same edgy vibe, it becomes hard to take it seriously.

6. Female Characters Beating Up Male Characters

Men hitting women is undoubtedly frowned upon in anime and in real life. But for some reason, women beating or hitting men in anime is acceptable. You'll often see women punching, smacking, and yelling at their male counterparts for doing something "stupid."

There's a clear double standard here. People shouldn't beat each other up period, no matter what their gender.

7. Sitting Near the Window in Class

Have you noticed that in almost every high school anime, the main character sits next to the window? Everyone loves the window seat, but that's probably not the real reason why you see so many characters sit there.

Artists likely place the main characters next to the window because it's easiest to draw. That way, they don't have to worry about filling in the details of the classroom or other students.

8. Neverending Fights

Some anime fight scenes never seem to end. Take Dragon Ball Z, for example. The battle between Goku and Frieza gets dragged out for several episodes, when the actual fighting only lasts about five minutes. You'll end up watching a ton of filler episodes before you even get to the real action.

9. Becoming a Monster You Despise

What do Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan, and Devilman Crybaby have in common? All of the main characters transform into something they hate, whether it's a ghoul, titan, or demon.

This overused trope helps us see the good in evil, but it loses its effect when it appears so many times.

A World Without Anime Tropes

Anime is better off without tropes. While some anime manage to exclude tropes, many fall into the same, boring rut. We can only hope that we'll see more creativity and fewer tropes in the future.

Anime from the past and present fall victim to tropes. Although you might encounter some of the same themes, you'll still want to check out the classics of anime:

Anime & Manga Genres, Explained

Anime and manga genres go beyond the usual genres we know. Even if you know what shonen and shojo are all about, what about isekai? What exactly does slice-of-life entail? Are ecchi and hentai that different?

We've broken it down for you! These Japanese genre names can be helpful when you want to find more anime to watch and manga to read. Download our printable cheat sheet and pin it to your wall for reference!

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