Several anime, and s couple this season, have a trope where the protagonist lives in an apartment full of literal trash. Trash bags, bottles, cans, etc. Sometimes the trope only shows up during a move or as part of a cleaning montage, and sometimes it's not the protagonist, but a plot device for an ancillary character or structure.

What is the name of this trope, and why is this a trope? Does this reflect reality in Japan for some reason? Or is it an urban myth?

Does it have anything to do with the strange and strict trash pickup schedule in Japanese cities? Several anime have touched on this, where certain things need to be processed a certain way, and will only be picked up on certain days, and landlords get very fussy about breaking those rules.

I did a few DDG searches, but search has been declining for years, and all I got was commentary/opinion on how all anime was trash. Searching this stack exchange also yielded no results.

1 Answer 1


It's a real thing called 汚部屋 (obeya, literally dirty room). I guess the reason it appears in anime is that it is mildly associated with hikikomori (those who never go out of their room), which is again mildly associated with otaku.

The following contains a list of related anime characters:

  • I would not say "mildly" but would say "strongly" for the hikikomori point. Jul 18, 2023 at 1:21

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