Connect with us

5 Popular Anime Tropes That Aren’t Actually Annoying


5 Popular Anime Tropes That Aren’t Actually Annoying

Let’s get tropey.

Just like any other entertainment medium, anime is beyond guilty of being rife with tropes that are so bad you can’t help but roll your eyes. Whether it’s cliche beam fights or bringing characters back from the dead, the genre has plenty of them to go around. 

Yet, just because something has been used a lot in anime doesn’t necessarily mean it is automatically a bad thing. There is actually a reason some tropes exist, as they’re so good, you don’t mind that it is being used again. 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of a few of those anime tropes, explaining why they aren’t actually that annoying. 

Tournament Arcs

Best Anime Tropes

Anime Tropes
Image Source: Toei Animation

When it comes to arc-based tropes, tournaments have to be the one cliche that fans never mind seeing, especially when it is done right. Whether it’s a simple test of finding out who is the best or life or death stakes, this anime trope makes for such a fun storytelling device. 

It allows shows to introduce new characters, spotlight lesser-used ones, and even throw in a few surprise wins here and there. My Hero Academia’s U.A. Sports Festival is a great example of this.

In it, we’re introduced to powerful characters like Shinso and Ibara for the first time, showing that there are more heroes worthy of the spotlight outside of just class A. The tournament’s overall winner may also be somewhat surprising to views as well, as it isn’t the main protagonist of the show. 

This is just one of the many examples of great tournaments in anime. If you’re itching for some more, check out our article on the 15 best tournament arcs ranked.

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

Best Anime Tropes

Image Source: Madhouse

When it comes to anime, you can never judge a character simply based on their outward appearance. Someone that looks small or puny may be insanely strong, while the jacked and intimidating guy is really just a big teddy bear. 

One Punch Man is a pretty good example of this anime trope, as Saitama just looks like a bald goofball wearing a cape to anyone that doesn’t know his actual strength. When he does show his true power, onlookers, villains, and even fellow heroes always have the same slack-jawed, shocked reaction. 

On the flip side, you’ve also got characters like Takeo in My Love Story. While he may look like an absolute unit compared to everyone else, he’s actually one of the purest and gentle people in the world, always going out of his way to try and make those around him feel better.

Seeing this happen in any anime is always fun, as it never gets old seeing the reaction to the opposite of what is expected to happen. 

Tragic Backstories

Best Anime Tropes

ed and alphonse elric

While it might not seem like the deepest medium to someone who doesn’t watch it, any true anime fan will tell you that the genre is hope to some pretty deep, difficult, and nuanced topics. There are plenty of series that deal with trauma, depression, and all sorts of other issues that we as humans struggle with in our real life as well.

It’s due to this relatability that the tragic backstory trope works so well in anime when done right. While it may hurt to see characters like Naruto being ostracized from the village and lonely at the outset of the series, it makes it that much more rewarding when he’s able to overcome his hardships by the end of the show.

Overcoming tragedy and hardship is something just about everyone has to do, so getting to see characters prosper through them makes it feel like theirs a light at the end of the tunnel for us all. If nothing else, getting to see tragedy turn out well always makes for a nice story arc.

Passing of the Torch

Best Anime Tropes

all might
Image Source: Studio Bones

When it comes to action-oriented anime, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one these days that doesn’t use the Passing of the Torch trope. Whether it’s one about high school volleyball like Haikyuu or a superhero romp like My Hero Academia, just about all of them have stories where a wise mentor teaches their padawan wisdom, only for the student to eventually become the master.

The Passing of the Torch trope is also really useful when it comes to worldbuilding. Since the main character is usually inexperienced, they serve as a vessel for the view when it comes to introducing characters, explaining powers, and providing backstories that otherwise would otherwise feel like an exposition dump.

It’s also just really fun to see a character grow and progress in this manner. While All-Might may be our favorite character to start out, there’s just something special about getting to see Deku grow from a weakling to the strong character he is now, especially considering how much more he’s bound to continue growing in the future.

A Calculated Plan

Best Anime Tropes

Anime Tropes
Image Source: Studio Pierrot

Anime is filled to the brim with plenty of brawny people who use insane strength to power their way to victory. But while being strong often plays a huge factor in coming out on top, being smart is sometimes even more important. 

Smart characters in anime plan so meticulously that every action they and their opponent take is thought out even before the fight commences, usually resulting in them saying, “That was all a part of my plan.” While this certainly sounds corny on paper, it is always enjoyable to see the events that led up to the calculated situation, especially when you go back and watch it with the benefit of hindsight. 

A notable example of this can be found in Naruto with the Shikamaru vs. Temari fight. This fight makes it seem like every single one of Shikamaru’s plans is thwarted by Termari, despite the brilliance behind them. In reality, though, each one was simply a diversion to distract her from the fact that she is moved to a spot that makes her lose pretty much instantly. 

Death Note as a whole is also a fantastic example of this anime trope done right, as it centers around the mental chess match between Light and the brilliant minds that want to take him down. It is literally an example of the pen being mightier than the sword, as the protagonist writes in his Death Note with detailed plans to kill his victims without anyone ever knowing it was him.

Related Posts
Continue Reading
To Top