Worst Anime Cliches

Is there ever that one cliché in anime that you by no means can understand why they keep doing this because it's so annoying? I'm not saying that the animes that due these clichés are bad, far from it. I like most of them however, these tropes are pretty annoying in my own opinion. I'm sure you can agree on at least one of them and I know there might be some that I missed. However this is just what I think of when I think of annoying clichés in anime. You're free to add one of your own too.
The Top Ten
1 Distracting Fanservice Distracting Fanservice

Fanservice can be done well if it's fun or for comedic purposes. However, sometimes the creators decide to put in way too much fanservice that it becomes very distracting. High School of The Dead is one of them. It's an action packed anime about zombies all over Japan and yet so many times when the action happens, the fanservice gets in the way. It just takes you out of the moment and is overall unnecessary. Or that one female or male lead that's only there for fanservice and doesn't actually have any character development. Their whole existence is just eye candy for the audience and it makes them look like a tool.

Sadly quite a lot of characters have ridiculously oversized breasts that make the silicone companies look like they're rolling in money, simply to become fodder for fanservice that has little (if any) relevance to the plot. Combined with no personality development in some cases, inclusion of fanservice-only characters is lamentably shallow and ignorant of real emotions people feel. Sometimes we want something more than just having breasts and knickers shoved in our faces - it's as simple as that.

I swear, if you got rid of the fanservice in some anime, the show would only be like half of the actual airing time or less. I hate it when they make girls have skirts so short that it doesn't even cover their panties, or girls with breasts so large they're bigger than their face. Breasts the size of those in real life make it hard to run or sometimes breathe.

I hate fanservice, it makes me cringe so much, I have no idea why they'd add something like that to a manga that is meant for 15 or younger teens. Fanservice is actually one of the things that makes me hesitate before watching an anime, heck, I'm not that lucky to get away every time without my parents getting a peek of something like big boobs and stuff. Just no.

2 Friendship Saves the Day! Friendship Saves the Day!

Ruined Fairy Tail for me.
Its always the same. The opponent is stronger in every way, but oh you hurt friends, now I get super strong and somehow one shot you even though none of my previous attacks worked at all.

I often wonder what the criteria is to become a writer for anime oder videogame production in Japan. Far too often I get the feeling the story/characters/dialogue is/are written by a ten year old. And the "power of friendship" theme is one of the worst offenders in that regard. I guess it's a cultural thing.

Ever liked an anime where everything seems to be perfect? The characters are likable, the action is great and the story is engaging? Then you get to certain point in the anime whether it be the end or not that you realize the writer didn't know how to properly end a fight? So what does the writer do? The power of friendship conquers all! You see this in certain animes like Fairy Tail (especially) and even Soul Eater did. Except they called it 'bravery' but you could replace it with friendship and it would be the same thing. I hate it when that happens. It can ruin the anime for me. Friendship can't solve everything, the world doesn't work like that. You have to be strong in the real way and that doesn't include suddenly becoming powerful because you're thinking about your friends. That's just lazy writing and could fail a show entirely.

You know, I love this message. And over here, several music artists and YouTubers start to get the same message across. People start to call their really close friends - not those who you hang out with, but those with whom you share a lot of your life and feelings with - family again. And that's awesome. You know, I think my generation in my culture was heavily influenced by anime in their childhood, and they still hold the same values. They don't see any reason not to be as close to your friends as in those shows. And I don't either.

3 The Protagonist Lacks a Mom and Dad The Protagonist Lacks a Mom and Dad

This may seem small but have you ever noticed how the main lead either has one parent or no parents at all? This seems to be in almost every anime you come across. For some reason the main lead doesn't have their mom or dad. Whether they're dead, they abandoned them, a divorce or they are too busy to ever pay attention to their child. Here's a list of main characters with either one parent or none. Pokémon, Attack on Titan, Ouran Highschool Host Club, Kaichou Wa Maid Sama, Kotoura-san, Mirai Nikki, Naruto, Black Butler, Your Lie In April, Say I Love You, Soul Eater, Bleach, Fairy Tail, Clannad, Fullmetal Alchemist and Batman. (Okay, that last one isn't an anime but you get my point.)

I'm getting frustated of this cliche already. Why do the protagonists' parents have to die/or the protagonists have to be an orphan for them to be protagonists? It'd be fun to see BOTH of an anime protagonist's parents well and alive and having at least tolerable screentime. Please come on.
Most anime/manga, and even other fictional works rather do this to show the pain protagonist has been through or just not to worry about 'what would his/her parents think about it..? '

Start doing differently, already...

Now that I think about it, almost every anime I watch, just lack that one parent ( which is mostly the mother ) or have an absent or neglectful parent ( which is father ).

This isn't just in animes. Orphans are a huge cliche everywhere.

4 Generic Male Leads Generic Male Leads

It's not only like this in anime... it's basically like this in every second fantasy or scifi movie. Either they are unrealisticall strong action heroes or your average imperfect big mouths with a good heart that learn a lot along their way. The thing is, when you have a female character that fits this description, it's automatically more interesting because it doesn't fit the stereotype. Plus, female leads often have more developed personalities and background stories. Quite often, the villain will be a whole lot more relatable and interesting, or at least he has more of an attitude. I get that the male leads are often supposed to be a placeholder for YOU, the viewer, but it doesn't change everyone around you is more interesting.

Usually accompanied by a harem of girls that are just walking stereotypes themselves...

Yesh! That image of Ayato is perfect! He's so generic and is written like how a 13 year old see's himself!

Normally I'd say this is wrong but its true?! Male leads are like "I'm gonna be the best"

5 Tsunderes Tsunderes

They are just awful people, why not be nice like in the anime Ore Monogatari (my love story). No Tsunderes there and its one of the best Romance anime's ever made.

They are all basically the same character so must so you can tell what will happen, man dose something (doesn't matter if its good or bad) gets blamed and most likely hurt and end result either proved right or wrong (mainly wrong) but no real sorry after for development.

You know after seeing this character in almost all anime, I think even the fans of this cliche should see by now that it has over stayed its welcome. If the man did something wrong he's Hitler "BUT" if the woman did something wrong then nothing happens (in fact something the man still gets blamed. If you really want "Gender Equality" then both sides should have the same ups and downs.

To be honest I never understood why people like Tsunderes, they are not cute they are just mean people, its not a good role model, please give me a good ...more

It's not Tsunderes, it's how they're written. Some people do it well, and some people do it horribly. Tsunderes that are horribly written are the ones that almost never feel any remorse but claim they have a crush, and act snotty ALL the time and use their crush basically.

Tsunderes can be interesting characters. However majority of the time in anime, they are done wrong & are just annoying unlikable characters (at least, they should be...). I mean, all they do is reinforce harmful stereotypes that men can't lay a finger on a female, but a females can beat the h311 out of men without fear of getting touched by him, because if he does he will get into trouble because he's supposed to be able to take it. While in the anime it isn't 'abusive' because the man can easily bounce back up, irl it doesn't work that way. A woman can easily kill a guy with anger so it's a sad form of 'comedic' relief. I'd rather have my child see the 'oops I feel & touched your bewbz' cliche because even though female characters overreact to it, at least it's viewed as a bad thing to touch innoproprate parts unlike this where it shows it's ok for woman to attack men & men should just be able to take it. Another problem I have with them is for the most part, they treat their love ...more

€�A sweet, kind girl who's loved me for years, is fun to be around, likes what I like and just wants to spend time with me? No thanks. An obnoxious, rude, entitled brat who hits me all time, berates me and treats me like nothing more than dirt on the bottom of her shoe? Yeah I'll stick a ring on it! ' - pretty much all male characters.

6 Filler Episodes Filler Episodes

Doesn't even have to be a full episode for it to be annoying. Endless internal monologues where the character keeps repeating his/her motivation or flashbacks of the same 3 different scenes over and over again are just as bad in my opinion. I'm speaking to you AoT!

I hate these episodes. There's nothing more annoying when you just want the plot to continue but then you have filler. Whether it's through via flashbacks (Yu-Gi-Oh series) or takes so many episodes to finish a certain arc (Naruto). Or how they fight numerous foes who have nothing to do with the main story before they continue the story (Sailor Moon). It's just and excuse to fill up more slots and gain more viewership. However, it can become distracting if you use it way too much.

Oh yes. Fillers, I don't know but I'm a total perfectionist, my first ever anime was Naruto (fortunately or not) and thus, I had to watch all of the damn fillers even though they were boring to the very core (Ninja ostrich? What was his name again? Condor? Mecha-Naruto... Like seriously? ) but I had to watch it. I got so bored of the fillers that I gave up watching it on my third anime; which was Bleach. Fillers are so intolerable that they defeated my perfectionist personality.

And this is why I never picked up on Naruto. I usually like to watch an entire anime series episode by episode without skipping any single one. Surprisingly, I believe there was actually one episode in Blue Exorcist that was a filler episode (the one with the cooking demon). If filler episodes aren't in abundance or if they're fun to watch, I might not mind them. If it's the opposite way around, I have a problem.

7 School! School!

I'm sure we all saw this one coming. How many animes do you think, take place in a school? So many! Even some of my favorite animes like Code Geass, Angel Beats, Another, Fruits Basket etc. I'm not saying it's bad but it's becoming very obvious that most of them take place in school. There is more to life than school. I watch anime to see an amazing adventure with characters. Not be reminded of why I hated school in the first place. We've all been to school. We all had exams, bullies, clubs and some good memories. Except I don't always want to see that. Especially since some anime is much more interesting if you take the school aspect out of it, like with Code Geass. I wanted to see Lelouch come up with clever ideas to stop his enemies and free Japan. Not him working in the student council room with whatever they were doing. There's plenty of good anime that don't take place in school like Wolf's Rain, Berserk, Attack on Titan etc. So it can be frustrating to see school anime ...more

School settings can work if the school happens to be a Harry Potter-type school, a sports/dance/martial arts school, a ninja school, an alternative school or the school of the future.
But far too often, both western cartoons and Japanese anime feel the need to take place in a generic elementary/middle/high school where everybody knows you from day 1 to graduation.

One of reasons why anime is boring, always in school and why don't anime creators be more creative when it comes to setting and character age diversities? hello there are a lot of interesting things in life besides school and enough with mary sue/gary stu, smartass teenage protagonists. give me either adult, middle-aged & elder protagonists!

Yeah, because we all loved school. Most of the anime that comes out all have schools in them. Whether their regular schools are schools for special students. Schools! Schools! Schools!

8 That Female Character That Thinks That Someone Who Is Looking At Her, Thinks He Is A Pervert That Female Character That Thinks That Someone Who Is Looking At Her, Thinks He Is A Pervert

This should be #1. Poor gentlemen. They keep on getting abused just for looking at something or being a "pervert" when they are not a pervert. This is a cliche that needs to stop in anime. Take a look at many of the shows that has this cliche. Note: Some to many of these shows are good ones, so if any of you see your favorite in this list, just know that I'm not saying that they are bad. I'm saying that they have this cliche. Here goes: Sword Art Online, Your Lie in April, Akame ga Kill, Guilty Crown, Love Hina, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Soul Eater, Naruto Frachise, and many more.

You know that, that gal in the beach episode who hates the men looking at her because of their dirty minds. I can't explain how wrong this is. Firstly, for beach episodes it is expected of you to wear revealing clothing. Secondly, This can be told by the second character's expressions. If that character has a dirty mind, I will pass but if it is not and simply looking at her, then that is problematic

Just because somebody casually looks at her doesn't mean it's in a 'dirty' way, so this can get a bit annoying if it's blown out of proportion.

Anime girls! You seriously need to chill! Maybe boys are interested in you, might think you're a good help for homework or whatever, or maybe they just looked at you for only ONCE AND YOU STILL SLAP THEM! Ugh! If anime boys weren't such perverts in so many animes, then this cliche wouldn't have been so annoying!

9 Edgy edgy edgy Edgy edgy edgy

Akame Ga Kill is a perfect example of this! It tries to be dark and mature but it backfires. That was my main problem with the show more than anything else. Besides the violence trying its hardest to shock the audience, the show had the characters have awful pasts and circumstances... and then suddenly it went back to its comedy, as if it never happened.

Edginess is something you can't just abuse of, especially on characters, I can understand making a dark hero or something alike but sometimes it's just too much, batman, daredevil and red hood are clear example in western comics, while daredevil is somehow better the other 2 are kinda soulless, about videogames there are plenty of examples, half if of the cast of sonic for instance, this trope is kind of annoying, even in manga with characters like sasuke... less popular but annoying

I agree. If you want funny parts in a dark anime, there can't be so many of them. You can either make an anime funny as possible or at least have funny parts that make sense.

Edgy is synonymous with Shadow The Hedgehog, Dethklok, any kind of horror movie from Japan... but this is too much for anime.

10 The Dark Edgy Character with a Dark Past The Dark Edgy Character with a Dark Past

Ever see that one character who never reveals about themselves because they're afraid to hurt the people they care about? Or when they act cold towards them in order to keep them away or safe from their past? This happens a lot in anime but it normally doesn't bother me. However, I do see this a lot and my tolerance meter can only take so much of it sometimes. Even some of my favorite anime like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Naruto, Attack on Titan, Kaichou Wa Maid Sama are capable of following this trope.

Possibly the most cringeworthy of the anime tropes. Characters with a dark past and dark demeanor CAN be good (like vegeta and piccolo from DBZ), but when your resident edge-lord gains no development from his dark past, his edginess gets old really fast.

Love the image of Sasuke up there. That's all his character is, just dark edgy and can't make up his mind on what he wants.

Fangirls go crazy over these characters.

The Newcomers

? Secondary Characters Being Eventually Written Out of the Story
The Contenders
11 Beach Episodes Beach Episodes

Wstrn. Animation Beach Episode - Exciting plot about going surfing or whatnot.
Anime Beach Episode - Japan bans porn so this is as close as we can get. Uncle Sam ain't make cartoons like this LOL!

In this anime called Infinite Stratos, the beach episode had no point. It was literally just to show the female characters in Bikinis, and naked at one point. Like the bikinis weren't even for kids, they were like an adult woman's lingerie.

Beach episodes can be done well, but popping them in just for filler is a surefire way to ruin the fun of them.

Seriously quit treating female anime characters as sex objects

12 Fragile Female Lead Fragile Female Lead

This is mostly in Shoujo anime but I've found it in Shounen anime too. It's that one girl in an anime that can't do anything right but always promises to try her best even if she fails. Like how she's always getting bad grades, slowest runner in gym class, can't lift anything heavy, doesn't stand up for herself when being harassed or is very co-dependent on the male. I know we all have our flaws but it's hard to support a female character when she can't do anything by herself and is only there for the lead. Like Yuki Kuran in Vampire Knight or Erika Shinohara in Black Prince & Wolf Girl. Yuki is very dull and was only put in the show so that females can pretend that they're her. So they can imagine themselves as a woman in a love triangle with two handsome leads. Yuki isn't a character herself in my opinion. Erika is a pathetic character in my eyes. She allows Kyouya to call her a dog and forces her to do things to her. Just because she lied to her 'friends' about having a boyfriend. ...more

That image of Yui Komori from Diabolik Lovers just HAD to be uploaded. Man, I don't want to see that stoic Mary Sue's face (she's got good looks, but the same can't be said for her characterization). Though it's understandable considering that she is notoriously known for being too weak and fragile around the male vampires that torment her in her respective anime.

It totally ruins an anime. I watched a full season of Diabolik lovers and spent half the time yelling at the girl to scream, run, defend herself, anything. After 11 episodes I decided that she can die for all I care, I mean she wasn't even trying. Asking politely doesn't work with vampires!

No wonder Lucy Heartfilia gets more praise than Erza Scarlet (because Lucy Heartfilia is portrayed as a dainty crybaby).

13 Out-of-Proportion Boobs Out-of-Proportion Boobs

I never understood how some people can actually find those gigantic schwobbly monstrosities attractive. It just looks so extremely out of proportion and unnatural. Works as a humoristic element, I guess, but certainly not to make a female character look better.

Another part where the developer's sauciness leaks onto his work. Seriously, do some research about how anatomy works before characters with big busts. I'm not annoyed if the character has a normal d-cup, but when it's used in younger characters or if they are gainaxed (thanks TVTropes), then you have a problem.

Why is this even necessary? What's even the good of making woman have such huge breasts and guys will obviously grope on. So you can attract perverted men in the world? Well you're doing a great job with this terrible cliche!

HOW would this be comfortable? In many shounen and shojo anime's, many fighter ladies have unproportionate breasts. They can cause back problems if they are overly large, a lady can even get bust REDUCTION surgery to eliminate that cost.

However, in anime, the world's laws of anatomy physics are warped and bent so :/

14 Perverted Leads Perverted Leads

GTO is comedy and it is all about pervert jokes. I hate all that in a regular show. But in its own show it made sense. It was hilarious and showed how ridicuously all that is. And iirc Onizuka transforms into a half-way normal person in the end.

They're annoying, nobody likes them and every girl wants to rip their eyeballs out. Could a character get much worse?

It's fine when it's a recurring character. but if you've got a main character like that it's a problem

15 Whoops! I'm a Pervert Now! Whoops! I'm a Pervert Now!

I absolutely hate this. I remember watching an anime called Demon King Daimo, and it looked really cool. In the first or second episode, a girl made some AWESOME magic that was well-animated. I wanted to watch the main character learn this at the magic school, but unfortunately the entire thing was this cliche. The next few episodes consisted of dumb side plots, like a girl he accidentally violated chasing him with a wooden katana in nothing but a white button up shirt. Or when he (main character) was forced to stay in some enclosed box that wouldn't open until morning because of some sort of punishment. And the constant explosions that left the above girl with tattered clothes. Not to mention this idiotic girl that was bad at magic and whose only strength was invisibility...and she had to take off her clothes to be invisible.
I hate it when an anime has a promisable storyline and instead shoves this perverted crap onto me.

There's always that scene where a guy accidently trips over a girl and somehow either touches her breasts or gets a good view of her panties. She then hits him before he can explain the misunderstanding and she thinks that he is a pervert. While this cliché is very minor it's still frustrating to watch. You can see this ridiculous trope come from a mile away and almost every anime does this! Noragami, Food Wars, Soul Eater, Fairy Tail,

This one is really annoying, unfunny and overused. It seems writers utilise this cliche when they have ran out of jokes.

I think that image of Soul Eater Evans would fit more under the category of the nosebleeds cliche, but whatever.

16 Awkward falling positions Awkward falling positions

I walked in on that?!

17 The Indecisive Boy Has a Harem The Indecisive Boy Has a Harem

I cannot express how much I despise this cliche. I get the viewer is supposed to related to the main character, but the lead is so bland and frikin BORING, that I don't even know WHY the most interesting looking ladies even like him! Almost every female in the anime would like him, even making that their only personality trait. Either black, blue or brown haired bland looking males are just UGH

I hate the cliche where every (or almost every) girl in an anime is in love with the same boy. It makes the girls seem hollow and lifeless, as if they cannot cope without being in love with an otherwise bland male lead, and also is kinda ridiculous how a boy can be the sole sexual icon for so many girls. Akame Ga Kill was ruined by all the female characters (except Akame and Najenda and kinda Leone) all fawning over Tatsumi. It adds nothing to any show and ruins potentially interesting female characters by having their only story to be lovesick, giving them no depth whatsoever.

You mostly see it in a harem that the boy has a whole bunch of girls who like him, but he doesn't decide who he wants to be with, and just ends up with all of them. The girls are pretty much just eye candy to look at, don't really have much of a personality, and their only interest and goal is to please their indecisive love interest.

This is an example of poor writing. Many harem animes focus on developing a harem for a male who has next to no interest in a harem, and eventually cannot pick between a harem and one or two of the girls, so he ends up with no one.

18 Main Character Has Nothing Unique Main Character Has Nothing Unique

Almost every anime harem scene in which the male lead has NOTHING unique about them.

Every Digimon Main male as Tai,Davis and the others.
Typical all shounen Characters!

19 Main Character is the Younger of 2 Brothers Main Character is the Younger of 2 Brothers

In a plethora of animes, the protagonist or another central character is a younger brother. He has an older brother who has either gone bad, is mysterious, or has disappeared. (An exception occurs in Yu-Gi-Oh, where older brother Seto Kaiba is one of the central characters, and Mokuba is his younger brother.)

"Fatal Fury" ("Garou Densetsu" if you're in Japan) is an exception. There the protagonist is the ELDER brother, though the fanservice-y female lead is more interested in the younger one.

20 Bland Harem Leads Bland Harem Leads

And usually too daft to even realize that literally every girl in their surrounding is into them. For bonus cringe, let one of the admirers be a sibling. Are incestuous tendencies on this list?

21 Wish Fulfillment Lead Protagonist Wish Fulfillment Lead Protagonist
22 Shouting Out Names of Attacks Shouting Out Names of Attacks

I am very, very sad to say this, but Code Grass is guilty of this. Occasionally Kallen or someone else in a Knightmare will yell out their attack. Why though? It might give enough time for the enemy to counterattack. It's annoying as well as pointless.

Imagine a character shouting "ICE ATTACK" then getting shocked when the opponent blocked it using fire. That is the most stupidest things in the world

It sounded so lame in The Seven Deadly Sins. But it was actually good in case of Dragon Ball Z though.

Well in Naruto, you have to say it. Like, you can't undo a jutsu if you don't say release.

23 Nosebleeds Nosebleeds

It was funny once. But in 50% of anime shows and every second episode of it, it just becomes tedious boring and annoying.

Generally anime use tropes/jokes way too often!

There's no way a person can nosebleed that much when they're around something sexy. And how a person doesn't bleed to death because of this? I don't know

Do anime characters just have an infinite amount of blood in their body?

Nosebleeds can't actually happen from lust.

24 You know how the antagonist killed all those people and tormented me? Yeah well now that I caught him lets forgive him. You know how the antagonist killed all those people and tormented me? Yeah well now that I caught him lets forgive him.

So many series are guilty of this and I hate it! In this image, I can agree that Obito was WAY too easily forgiven. He caused so much damage, killed so many people and caused a war. Yet the characters forgive him? That's just disturbing and unbelievable. Could you imagine if that happened in real life? The world would be scary place to live in.

It's absolutely bizarre how characters can commit terrorist level threats but get zero repercussions for it. Imagine if we let serial killers off the hook.

Don't forget Lucy from Elfen Lied.
Seriously, how did Kouta forgive her so easily?

Itachi did it for a good reason.

25 Cat Girls Cat Girls

I guess my problem is that the very first character to introduce me to the concept of catgirls was Merle from Vision of Escaflowne. To this day she is still the original catgirl to me, not just because she was my first, but also because she was and still is the most "realistic" I've seen.

The stereotypical catgirl in almost all anime/manga are just completely human looking girls with cat ears and a tail. And way too often they still have human ears too. Like...why? Merle on the other hand actually looked like a different species. Full furry, claws, and moved like a cat. And there were other beastraces present too, so they just felt like part of this fantasy world. Also she wasn't just a gimmick. She was still kinda annoying in the anime (not so much in the movie) but at least she had a personality worth mentioning and didn't end every single sentence with a "nya".

So I guess I don't really hate the concept of catgirls, just the way it is executed most of the time.

Cat girls are just so lazy designed. of course cat girls are cute. its just stupid they behave totally like submissive dull females only more submissive, more dull and more cute.
I think there is not a single anime that did half-human/half-alien or half-something right. even the animations are human, and the face structure is human. that is just lazy design

You mean abomination?

These are called Neko

8Load More
PSearch List