In a lot of anime and anime-styled fan work, anime characters are shown standing on the tops of telephone poles.

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I understand this angle makes it easy to show the character against nice scenery, but it's not something that should be as regular as it is. Was there a particular show that sparked all the pole-standing?

  • I think it's just part of the trope were all anime characters have the ability to jump higher than any human can pretty much regardless of the genre. It's pretty much inevitable they'll end up on a telephone poll eventually.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 19:33
  • what anime/s are those please?
    – BCLC
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 14:11

4 Answers 4


The reason the characters stand on poles mostly have to do with the scene being either dramatic or to make the scene look "cool".

This trope is known as "I Have the High Ground":

  • Supernatural, magical, or just plain awesome beings know there's no better place to be effortlessly standing on than tall and usually thin objects, be they pine trees, lampposts or the nearest available tall building. This is flying for people who cannot fly. Or even the ones who can.

  • Less about true strategy and more about looking cool. Expect Dramatic Wind (actually, wind speed increases with altitude, so wind that seems dramatic to those on the ground is ''normal'' at high altitude). In anime and manga this has become a choice dramatic entrance for villains, introduced via a panning away of the camera from a completely every day scene (see example 1), or the aftermath of a dramatic event, to reveal that said villain was watching all along, and provide a nice segue for the next part. Example

As is mentioned on the page:

Hence, there is no particular show which sparked the pole standing, but rather its gradual adaptation into the anime world taken from real life Martial Art practice techniques, which became ever so popular and a regular occurrence because animation tends to increase the dramatic effect and make it scenic as compared to shows/movies, where the characters would (probably) look weird rather than cool, unless it's directly related to Martial Arts.


I always felt that it showed martial art skills like in kung-fu films.
This skill is a Martial Arts Technique utilizing Mei Hua Zhuang (Plum Flower Poles). Kung Fu Training Technique utilizing Mei Hua Zhuang (Plum Blossom Poles)

  • 2
    But not all of the characters that do this are martial arists? Please try to expand your answer to explain why their would be a general connection.
    – mivilar
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 20:38
  • I think this has the seed of a real answer--one could argue that standing on a telephone pole is a superpowered equivalent of this kind of training that became popular in anime, probably through the influence of Hong Kong action movies. It would take some research to establish the connection, though.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 4:15

Best lookout spot without close proximity to other leveled areas. To summarize a great vantage point. Either that or just looks cool while showing skill.


Maybe to show how awesome they are. I can also relate to martial arts. Mostly animes in which a character stands on things are mostly action or martial arts based.

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