The Salty Anime Challenge Day 9: Least favorite anime trope(s)

Clothing Damage

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.

9 responses to “The Salty Anime Challenge Day 9: Least favorite anime trope(s)”

  1. Shounen stories where no one dies is a tad annoying, especially when the villain does some really messed up stuff and kills multiple people. Friendship changes them and whatever, but death or some form of justice would be better. It just makes the hero look weak by letting them go.

    I actually commend Shojou stories for having death and dealing with heavy issues like this. Friendship powers still happen, but for some shows there is death or some form of death in there. They also tend to have horrible romance stories, which is a negative for me, but you can’t win them all.

    I didn’t realize the orange thing though. I’m going to look out for that from now on.

    1. One Piece seems to just write the villains out of the story for the most part. I think if some of the villains die, others might go to prison that would be more realistic.

      1. That’s true with One Piece, but I think I can forgive it since we get to see what happens to the villains after the fact.

      2. Some of the villains do return and some are reformed and become allies.

      3. I know, but I can forgive it because of characters like Buggy and the fact that One Piece is about pirates who are not exactly law abiding.

      4. I think One Piece turns the good and bad, Law abiding and Law breaking on it’s head. I think that some Pirates are terrible but some of the “good” law abiding “Nobles” are just as cruel but because the justice system renders their behavior (like slavery) accept they aren’t criminals.

      5. Yep, yep. Luffy has done a lot of good in the One Piece world and helped liberate nations, but he still has a huge bounty on his head. Then you have certain people in the World Government who are horrible monsters.

        In this instance, it makes sense why Luffy and his crew don’t ‘seek justice.’ But in other shows it’s a bit harder to understand.

        I don’t know if you’ve watched Hamatora, but in the second season a certain character kills a bunch of people and no one cares in the end.

  2. I like the Senran Kagura games so I don’t mind clothing damage haha. You are right about Goku’s pants. He should be fighting naked as one energy blast alone should burn off all his clothes. Maybe he buys pants from the same place as the Hulk. They are the only thing that don’t rip when Bruce Banner transforms.

  3. […] character that ruined (or almost ruined) a show for you Day 8: Least favorite genre(s) Day 9: Least favorite anime trope(s) Day 10: What is something that you dislike about a show you […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: