I need an elaborate answer to this question. After one of the answers I got from another question where a particular film jargon ("plotless story") was used, I read a wiki page and found that plot (narrative) means the chain of events which are linked to each other. In every show which is made for entertainment, there must be a link between events otherwise it would make no sense to watch it. Imagine a hypothetical "plotless show" where two characters completed unrelated to each other, die because of completely unrelated reasons, it'd rather be called a set of random events rather than a show.

When people say "this anime has no plot", what do they actually mean? Are they talking about two episodes not connected to each other?

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    Your question is off-topic unless you can relate it back to a particular series or trope. You should have at least tried linking to the particular wiki page. Please consider editing your question.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 9:33
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    I'm not sure if this is that unclear, but it is very broad. Short answer: the term doesn't mean what the literal definition of "plot" implies it should mean. It means a story that lacks an overarching narrative. A plotless show still has continuity, even between episodes in most cases, but it does not lay out a single self-contained chain of events. There's no culmination or payoff coming at the end.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 20:59
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    @ʞɹɐzǝɹ Is this alright now? I hope it's more clear now. Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 9:34

1 Answer 1


@torisuda has it correct:

It means a story that lacks an overarching narrative

For an example of a plotless show, see Lucky Star.

The characters are the same in each scene, but every scene is distinct from each other. In one scene they might be talking about how to eat a chocolate cornet, another they might be talking about video games.

There are jokes that are referred to again - for example how Kagami is a tsundere. But this isn't a narrative or simply put - a story.

Your definition of narrative is correct:

the chain of events which are linked to each other

but, it fails to contextualize the links. the links are items that further the plot's progression - for example: a hero beats a villain who was blocking the path, the girls perform in a concert that raises their fame, etc.

Links like reusing jokes, same characters - or generally things of no overall consequence do not contribute to the story/plot.

If we have no links like we described, the show can be called plotless.

Feel free to comment if you want me to expand on something.

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    And here I was waiting with my answer ever since I cast my reopen vote, just to have you jump right in :L You've described things better than I would have anyway, +1
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 13:39
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    ;) the more answers the better :) Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 14:29
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    @Matt If you look at our Area 51 stats, the one place we're lagging is number of answers per question, so if you have a slightly different way of looking at this, by all means post your answer.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 6:02

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