If you’ve wanted anime long enough you notice that during the battle sometimes an anime characters clothing will get damaged. Often this is a pathetic attempt to justify fanservice. Clothing damage in anime can ridiculous. Bleach for example has this problem, while it seems that only the male characters are susceptible to clothing damage. The main protagonists, Ichigo even stated that “his outfit changes when he assumes bankai, his shirt takes damage in proportion to how much spirit power he loses. As he rests, the robes mend.”
The most famous example is of course the Dragon Ball series. Goku in particular displays this troupe. You can often comically determine the point in the fight based on Goku’s clothing. If he’s still has his shirt on the fight cannot be over. Strangely enough his pants are apparently made of stronger fabric than his shirt. His pants may get torn, but they never get blow off like his shirt does.
Defeat means Friendship
In popular manga and anime, Fairy Tail, both Gajeel and Juvia join the guild after they are defeated. In the Dragon Ball series almost all of the Z team at some point tried to beat or kill Goku at one point. Krillin even stated that “all of the Z-Fighters were enemies with Goku at some point.” More specifically:
- Piccolo, was an enemy of Goku until mutual respect for Goku’s fighting ability.
- Vegeta, prince of the Saiyan’s was nearly killed when he and Nappa tried to steal the dragon balls. Through the series Vegeta slowly becomes a permanent member of the Z team.
- Majin Buu, has about ten different forms. Fat Buu and Ubuu become members of the Z team.
- Android 17 & 18, both were created to kill Goku. 18 later marries Krillin, 17 actually doesn’t even meet Goku until Dragon Ball Super.
In Naruto, Neji and Gaara are transformed after Naruto defeats them and changes their lives. The problem with this troupe is that it’s unrealistic. For example, Piccolo, Vegeta, Buu, and Gaara kill many people and seemingly go unpunished for it, other than being defeated in combat.
Not Worth Killing
It is common in anime that a hero or villian will conclude that their opponent is too weak to be worthy of death. This is clearly design to keep the average skilled friends of the main character alive when the “main” bad guy decides that they don’t warrant being killed. It’s also a good way to display the power of a villian while not causing the lives of heroes. However, we all know that eventual the hero will surpass that villian.
- DBZ, Goku is notorious for leaving villains alive, hoping that they have “learned their lesson,” or even hoping that they comeback stronger because he loves the competition. He does this too often with Frieza, who then goes on to destroy the planet TWICE. He manages to kill everyone on Earth in “Resurrection F ” on for Whis to reverse it.
- One Piece, even though this series features much fighting, it is rare that they end up in death. Luffy fights brutally but I can’t think of any situation that resulted in anyone being killed by him. This doesn’t necessary mean that villains learn from their mistakes or go to prison, in fact some villains end up better off. For example, Wapol, become “an incredibly wealthy toymaker and tyrant of another kingdom, and Eneru went to the moon like he originally wanted.”
- Bleach, many of the fights in the series ends with the loser remaining alive due to being unworthy of death. Kenpachi leaves Nnoitra after defeating him, he turns around to leave and Nnoitra attacks him forcing Kenpachi to finally kill him.
Stock Shonen Hero
If your a fan of Shonen anime or you’re just aware of it, you should be able to easily identify which character is the main protagonist. Goku is the template for most of these hero types. They tend to share the same characteristics and are even created to emulate Goku as the creators were inspired by DBZ. The most famous characters that represent this troupe is Natsu from Fairy Tail, Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece and Naruto from Naruto. Some of the the characteristics are:
- Simple mindedness that borders on stupidity
- Massive appetites
- Have orange hair or clothing
- A tendency to show mercy to enemies that have commit horrible crimes
- A mastery of difficult techniques in short time
- A need to train excessively despite quickly learning these techniques
- Often fights for the thriller of it, and if necessary will surpass all limits to always win
Interestingly, Ichigo from Bleach shares many of these characteristics particularly in battle, however, he’s a smart student. Edward Elric shares personality traits of the typical Stock Hero but is highly educated due to his mastery of Alchemy. However, some characters subvert this troupe:
- Boruto from Boruto is actually the opposite of his father, Naruto. While he looks just like him, he’s actually considered to be a “genius,” and wants to be like Sasuke, sharing more qualities with him than his father.
- Saitama from One Punch Man also subverts this troupe, he does wear orange and trains a lot but because he became too powerful none of his fight thrill him and he’s now bald.
- Shigeo Kageyama from Mob Psycho 100, is average in many ways, he’s emotionally limited, hates to fight, his usual hair style is a bowl cut and wears all black.
- Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia, has a powerful quirk but his most important ability is his intelligence and ability to analyze and be strategic.
Alright, this post is already too long. I could go on and on. There are many other troupe that bug me, but these are some of the most obvious.