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. - RoseRedFlower

I like titties as much as the next guy, but when you just throw boobs and sex jokes at the screen for no reason other than to fill time that could be used for development of the story, it's just dumb. - Jackamalio

Now I'm not against sexy female characters, or those who wear revealing clothing, but at least let them have a personality instead of pure "ooh this is my new girlfriend, time to..." crap that the likes of adult anime is for. - Swellow

Those breasts are ridiculous - WickedStar

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2 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.) - RoseRedFlower

Probably any creators are too lazy to add parents for protagonist, or they only added parents just as background characters or cliche parents like abusive to their kids

Pokemon reeks of this trope. To be fair, the games do to. - HeavyDonkeyKong

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

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3 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 - RoseRedFlower

Here it takes place at school, there it's a school. Here is another school! Anime cliches is fully focused on schools! - Neonco31

There are some shows that work out school fine, but most of the time, it's just done because the developer needs an excuse to add more sailor fuku-wearing adolescents for the purpose of appeal. - Swellow

Actually both a lot of cartoons and anime involve school - Adventurur2

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4 Friendship Saves the Day! Friendship Saves the Day!

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. - RoseRedFlower

Uh, good for Sailor Moon? However, from what you described that could be used with almost any Magical Girl Anime. Plus that ending seems very sappy and unrealistic. - RoseRedFlower

Just hearing this reminds me of Fairy Tail... - Goku02

This is just plain lazy writing. Not to mention that if you apply this to the Real World you would be a parasite to people - PrinceOfFire

This makes me roll my eyes along with ‘willing it/bravery/Protag is just right saves the day! ’

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5 Tsunderes Tsunderes

Tsunderes no longer contain the -their, It's all tsun now. Whiny, rude, bossy and insecure. Tsunderes are a whole bunch of unattractive traits rolled into one and they almost never exhibit actual redeeming qualities and if they do they end up ruining the moment with some dumb crap "B-BAKA, HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME FEEL EMBARASSED" *sucker punches the MC*. Yeah that's fun, completely emasculate him and use him as a punching bag. What really ticks me off is that Tsunderes almost always get the MC in the end. - TheRikeAnimu

Whiny and annoying it bugs me how they always get the lead there ugly and aggressive. It just ticks me off whole series

Not all tsundere characters are bad. A few of my favorites are Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night and Taiga Aisaka from Toradora!. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

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 ...more

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6 Filler Episodes Filler Episodes

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. - RoseRedFlower

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. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

This is basically 75% of every Naruto season - TwilightKitsune

I LIKE FILLERS. Especially in Naruto. They give me more scenes with my favorite characters, who I can't see anywhere else. They're enjoyable. I couldn't care less if they're not part of the main plot. Everyone experiences side-trips in life, so it lends realism to the story. Sorry, filler-haters, but I'm not one of the common herd. Happily. - Crwth

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7 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. - Martin_Canine

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

Kirito in a nutshell.

Normally I'd say this is wrong but its true?! Male leads are like "i'm gonna be the best" - Adventurur2

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8 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.

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. - listotaku17

Edgy is dark but cool - Adventurur2

If it's too scary, no one will want to watch it
-someone who supports all the younger fans

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9 The Indecisive Boy Has a Harem The Indecisive Boy Has a Harem

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.

Now, I haven't watched a lot of animes, but I know enough that anime that have harems are just to please horny boys. They usually have no plot or character development except to take the viewer to the next sexual scene. - BlueTopazIceVanilla

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. - drdevil

One of my bros said hey watch some harem anime they're good and I watched high school dxd and I'm still having nightmares bruh who ever loves harem anime I have something to tell you...you have problems you need to go outside and talk to some real people because you will die alone

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

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, - RoseRedFlower

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

Lol, I was going to. I don't know how this one ended up with this selection but I don't feel like changing it now. - RoseRedFlower

Boku no pico in a nutshell

I would've done the same even if I got slapped - Adventurur2

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The Newcomers

? Perseverance and Teamwork Save the Day!
? Oversized Eyes

The Contenders

11 Beach Episodes Beach Episodes

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. - Entranced98

I love beach episodes - Adventurur2

They just do this since they have no more ideas left.

Things that are definitely going to happen:
Boy has to rub sunscreen over girls body and acids tally touches breasts or panties
Boy peeking in on girls changing
A bra or panty is going to slip off at some point - Silverfroststorm

They also do it for filler and to cut down on the animation budget. - RoseRedFlower

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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 - RoseRedFlower

Just an opinion passing by

They use to be cute, but now their just plain annoying honestly (they're basically in every anime, BASICALLY not literally)

There are some people that do like these kinds of characters because of various reasons, but yeah, some are actually kinda good, some are annoying.

But it's been kind of an image of what anime is to "outsiders"

"Outsiders" view on anime (not accurate!):

-is a Japanese cartoon that has a somewhat massive fan base all around the world, some being triggered if you dare mention a single insult onto their 'favorite' animes (despite them having less knowledge of said 'favorite anime') or even Japan itself (*cough*weaboos*cough*)

- to those that really do hate anime couldn't differentiate between an otaku and a weaboo

I would love to continue on but this isn't the topic to be discussing this.

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

Asuna Yuki

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13 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. - RoseRedFlower

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. - Jackamalio

Fangirls go crazy over these characters.

Yeah then fangirls are all "I love him,I love him! " - Adventurur2

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14 Long Drawn Out Battles Long Drawn Out Battles

This is very popular in Shounen anime. When you think the battle is over and someone is dead but not really. An example is the ever so fabulous DragonBall series. Examples would be how Gohan fought against Cell in episode 181 and it ends ten episodes later. The most infamous however is Goku vs Frieza. How the planet was supposed to blow up in five minutes but it takes Goku to fight Frieza at episode 97 to 105?! Sure, much of that was pointless dialogue but a good chunk of it was them thinking they won but they didn't. - RoseRedFlower

This is usually why I stay away from certain long-running mainstream anime such as Dragon Ball Z or Naruto (though I don't hate those series). I can understand if a battle starts in one episode and has to be finished in the next episode like Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, or the Fate series, but if we're talking over 5 episodes, there's a good chance I'm not watching it. Trust me, I tried to watch one of Naruto's fights against Pain on YouTube, but since the entire duration of the battle was SO DAMN LONG, I just ditched it and went on with my day. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

The only anime that take long time finished up the fight is dragon balls series, Naruto, One piece! It takes about 8-20 episodes to finished up the fight! I'll forgive some Shounen anime or other anime because it takes you 1-5 episodes, and they're done!

*sighs* takes 3 episodes to carry out one battle - Adventurur2

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

Pokemon don't have this either - Adventurur2

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.) - Crwth

Some examples: Speed Racer, Star Blazers, Dragon Ball, Inuyasha, Beyblade, Naruto, One Piece. - Crwth


16 Perverted Leads Perverted Leads

They're annoying, nobody likes them and every girl wants to rip their eyeballs out. Could a character get much worse? - Entranced98

It's fine when it's a recurring character. but if you've got a main character like that it's a problem - Adventurur2

17 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

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 - YourWaifuSucks

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. - Entranced98

So staring at a girls chest makes me a pervert - Adventurur2

18 Out-of-Proportion Boobs Out-of-Proportion Boobs

I actually added this. Lol, just like that visitor said, cow-sized boobs on a tiny, petite girl. So flipping dumb! Unrealistic. And gross too.

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. - Swellow

Oh, God. Don't even get me started on Eiken. The entirety of said anime is this cliche in a nutshell. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Hot - Adventurur2

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19 Awkward falling positions Awkward falling positions

I walked in on that?! - Adventurur2

20 Main Character Has Amnesia Main Character Has Amnesia

The only ones popped into my head are Dragon Ball Z and Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE... - Goku02

Huh, I don't see this often actually. - Rue

Golden Time, Guilty Crown, Elfen Lied, Code Geass etc. - HoneyClover

Did they fall hard? - Adventurur2

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355 days old

Top Remixes (14)

1. Distracting Fanservice
2. Tsunderes
3. Edgy edgy edgy
1. Perverted Leads
2. Awkward falling positions
3. Filler Episodes
1. School!
2. Filler Episodes
3. Friendship Saves the Day!

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