10 Anime Tropes That You Either Love or Hate

Anime
(C)ふじた・一迅社/「ヲタ恋」製作委員会
Anime

You probably have watched enough media to realize there are themes that reoccur non-stop. These themes are what help develop a medium’s identity in a world filled with animes to watch. Tropes are inevitable, whether you like them or not, but they do make for great memes and entertainment.

Q
What are tropes?
A

Tropes are essentially reoccurring themes we see in day-to-day media.

Q
What is an example of an anime trope?
A

Anime has taken the idea of a trope and can be really flexible about it, one of them is shouting the name of your attack before you do it, having an intense conversation during a fight, “my dad got remarried and I think I’m in love with my step sibling”, etc…

The harem trope in anime refers to a situation where one male character is surrounded by multiple female characters who are potential romantic interests. The male character is often indecisive, leaving the viewer to wonder which female character he will eventually choose.

This trope is often used for comedic or romantic purposes and is a popular genre in anime. It’s worth noting that the harem trope can also occur with one female protagonist surrounded by multiple male characters (Reverse Harem).

Some notable examples would be Highschool DxD, The Quintessential Quintuplets, and Re: Zero. Personally, I love harems as long as the MC picks one girl/guy at the end of the day. Lowkey, I do wish I had a harem, would be pretty cool, also I wouldn’t be down bad, haha.

2. The “Rivalry” Tropes

©岸本斉史 スコット/集英社・テレビ東京・ぴえろ

The anime rivalry trope between two characters refers to a common theme in which two characters have a competitive or hostile relationship, often as a result of a shared goal or conflicting interests. The rivalry can be between two heroes, two villains, or a hero and a villain.

This relationship can drive the characters to constantly test each other and push each other to improve, or it can be a source of tension or conflict within the story. The rivalry can also evolve over time, becoming more complex or even turning into a friendship.

Some examples would be Naruto & Sasuke, Goku & Vegeta, Natsu & Gray (Fairy Tail), etc… Rivalries are great for any story and in my experience with it, it helps create discussion in the fandom and births plenty of memes.

3. A Tsundere Character Who Obviously Likes the MC But Won’t Admit It

(C)竹宮ゆゆこ/アスキー・メディアワークス/「とらドラ!」製作委員会

The tsundere trope in anime refers to a character who is initially cold and distant towards the protagonist but gradually warms up to them over time, often due to romantic feelings. It’s a cute trope that is widely used in anime.

Tsundere characters often struggle to express their true feelings, and they may hide their affection behind insults, angry outbursts, or other forms of emotional distance. However, as they spend more time with the person they have feelings for, they gradually become more open and affectionate, revealing their softer, more loving side.

If you like the hot and cold tsundere trope we recommend: Toradora, Nisekoi, Oreimo, and more! We wrote an article on the top 15 tsundere characters so feel free to browse it for more tsundere-ness.

4. Non-Existent/Absent/Dead Parents 🙁

©岸本斉史 スコット/集英社・テレビ東京・ぴえろ

The Absent or Dead Parent trope in anime refers to a common theme in which one or both of a character’s parents are absent or have died. This can serve as a source of emotional trauma or conflict for the character, or it can be used to help explain their motivations or behaviour.

The death of a parent can also create a sense of loneliness or emptiness for the character and drive them to seek out new relationships or forms of support. It also creates a trope that some may relate to having lost a parent.

Notable examples include: Naruto losing his parents or Gon from HunterxHunter whose father is absent. Anime with these tropes helps envelop you in the story since you’ll be rooting for the character’s success.

5. Fanservice, Fanservice, and More Fanservice

(C)むらさきゆきや・講談社/異世界魔王製作委員会

Fanservice in anime refers to material or content included specifically to appeal to the audience and evoke a sexual or romantic response. This can take the form of suggestive or revealing clothing, gratuitous nudity, or sexualized camera shots. Fanservice is often used to increase the popularity or marketability of an anime and is often targeted toward a male audience.

Fans might enjoy fanservice because it can provide a break from the more serious or intense aspects of the story and can also be used to add humour or a sense of playfulness to the narrative. Some fans also enjoy fanservice as a way to satisfy their personal preferences or fantasies.

If you want to get more *cultured* these animes are perfect for you. Highschool DxD, Fairy Tail, Food Wars, Highschool of the Dead, How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord, etc…

6. Time Skips

©尾田栄一郎/集英社

The time-skip trope in anime refers to a storytelling technique where the narrative jumps forward in time, often by several years. This can be used to show the characters aging, changing, or developing, or to skip over periods of time where not much significance happens.

Time skips are often used by mangakas (manga artists) for several reasons. Firstly, time skips can be an efficient way of skipping over periods of time where the story might not be as interesting or relevant to the overall narrative. Secondly, time skips can be used to create a sense of progression, showing how the characters have grown or changed over time. Additionally, time skips can be used to create suspense or surprise, as the audience is presented with a new and unfamiliar world or set of circumstances.

Anime that use time skips are One Piece, Fairy Tail, Grisaia No Kajitsu, and NARUTO.

7. Surpassing Your Limits

©2021「僕のヒーローアカデミア THE MOVIE」製作委員会 ©堀越耕平/集英社

The surpassing your limits trope in anime and manga is a common theme that involves characters pushing beyond their current capabilities in order to overcome obstacles or defeat opponents. This often involves the character training or working hard to improve themselves, either through physical exercise, honing their skills, or unlocking hidden powers or abilities.

The trope is popular among fans because it showcases the character’s determination, courage, and growth as they work to overcome their limitations and become stronger. It can also serve as an inspirational message, encouraging viewers to persevere in their own lives and strive to reach their full potential.

Lots of anime use this trope as a means of breathing new life into characters and keeping them fresh. Some notable anime that fit this trip are My Hero Academia, Black Clover, Hajime No Ippo, Initial D, Dragon Ball, and lots more granted they are shounen related.

8. Step Siblings Becoming Lovers

(C)Sphere/奥木染町内会

The step-sibling trope in anime refers to a common theme in which two characters who are not biologically related become step-siblings as a result of one of their parents remarrying. This can lead to a variety of romantic and familial tensions, as the characters navigate their new family dynamic and their own feelings toward each other.

Some fans might enjoy the step-sibling trope in anime because it can add an extra layer of complexity or drama to the relationships between characters. The close proximity of the characters can also create opportunities for romantic tension or misunderstandings. Additionally, the step-sibling dynamic can be used to explore themes of family, acceptance, and belonging.

*shakes head* If the step-siblings becoming lovers trope is your thing, we recommend Domestic Girlfriend, KissXSis, The Eden of Grisaia, Eromanga Sensei and more.

9. Perverted Senseis Who Are Super Strong

©バードスタジオ/集英社・フジテレビ・東映アニメーション ©BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.

The Pervert Sensei trope in anime refers to a type of character who is a teacher or mentor figure but is also portrayed as having lecherous or perverted tendencies. They are often shown making inappropriate comments or gestures, peeping on or fondling their female students, or engaging in other forms of sexual harassment or misconduct.

This trope is often used for comedic purposes, but it can also be seen as problematic and contribute to negative portrayals of educators in media. The Pervert Sensei trope should be viewed critically and in the context of the larger cultural attitudes towards gender and power dynamics.

Some characters who fit this role are Master Roshi from Dragon Ball, Jiraiya from NARUTO, and Onizuka from Great Teacher Onizuka.

10. Training Arcs To Level Up The MC/Characters

Training arcs in anime refer to storylines where the main character(s) undergo a period of training in order to become stronger or improve their skills. This is often a key part of shonen (aimed at a young male audience) and sports anime, where the protagonist’s journey to improve is a central aspect of the story.

Training arcs are popular among fans because they often provide a clear goal for the protagonist to work towards and offer a sense of progression and growth. The training process also allows for character development and can provide opportunities for the characters to bond or overcome personal obstacles. Additionally, the training often culminates in a dramatic and exciting showdown or competition, which can be very satisfying for fans to watch.

If you like to see characters evolve from their hard work here are some anime recommendations for you: Assassination Classroom, Food Wars, Haikyuu!!, One Punch Man, Cautious Hero, and anything close to mainstream shounen anime.

Summary

Tropes make or break an anime for viewers. Having tropes are great, but how it is executed makes the difference. There are some animes where tropes have effectively killed off any hype surrounding it, while some animes use tropes to their full potential while not oversaturating the overall anime with it. There are more tropes that you will encounter on your weeb journey, so be sure to look out for them. Also, visiting fan forums for animes is a great place to help you understand what trope you may encounter when watching a specific anime.

We hope you found a trope that suits your taste or piques your interest!

Be sure to keep checking our website for more articles on all things anime, Japan, and otaku culture alike!!

Living in Japan, I work as an Editor/Writer at 1ScreenMagazine. Self proclaimed King of the Funny.

Joshua Mosesをフォローする
1Screen Magazine
Copied title and URL