Questions tagged [tropes]

A recurring element across anime, manga or works in other media. Tropes cover clichés, genre conventions and other recurring plot points, character types, narration styles, …

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108
votes
10answers
29k views

Why are the protagonists generally seated by the window?

I've noticed that in some anime the protagonist is seated by the window in the classroom. More specifically, the protagonist is generally on the second seat from the back (or sometimes on the very ...
77
votes
9answers
36k views

What is the purpose of characters shouting out the name of their attack?

It seems to me that in a lot of anime (Naruto, Dragon Ball, Gurren Lagann, and Digimon are four that come to mind), characters or creatures who perform an attack tend to shout its name, almost as if ...
68
votes
8answers
36k views

Does the “bloody nose” trope necessarily imply a sexual situation?

If you've seen much anime, you're familiar with the male character getting a bloody nose when he gets sexually excited. For example: Master Roshi (Dragon Ball) and Umino Iruka (Naruto) However, when ...
53
votes
2answers
37k views

Why do anime/manga characters have big eyes?

Going as far back as Astroboy, anime and manga characters have had big eyes. What is basis of this trend? How and where did this originate?
44
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is “I won't forgive you” a commonly used threat?

In a number of shows, "I won't forgive you" or some variation is used as a threat. Rukia uses it when she is trying to keep Ichigo to follow her into the Soul Society, saying, "If you follow me, I ...
43
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the purpose served by cicadas in anime?

Why do so many anime (e.g. Code Geass, Steins; Gate, Ano Hana) have cicadas in the background?
40
votes
3answers
12k views

Why are tentacles prevalent in anime?

What is the reason/motivation for the prevalence of tentacles (possibly NSFW Wikipedia link) in anime (esp. hentai)? Did the anime subculture lead to it or does it stem from various aspects (possibly ...
38
votes
6answers
43k views

Why do many characters tend to have crazy hair colors and styles?

It's fairly common that anime characters tend to have "wilder" hair than most people we see in real life. This can be seen as far back as Neon Genesis Evangelion (though somewhat mild) from the 90s (...
35
votes
2answers
4k views

How did the sweatdrop originate?

I can kind of handwave or fanwank the origin of things like the exasperated faceplant or the vein popping out when a character is comedic-angry, and even the trope of Japanese flag fans coming out ...
30
votes
2answers
6k views

How did the lolicon genre begin in anime/manga?

I have always wondered how the Japanese got the idea of making animated productions including underage girls and the obsession with them. When did it start? Did the idea originate in Japan? Was it ...
26
votes
2answers
22k views

What's the significance of revealing a character's blood type?

A lot of Anime shows will reveal the blood type of one or more of the main characters: What's the significance of it? What purpose does it serve? Where did it come from?
26
votes
1answer
32k views

Why do characters often pull down one eyelid and stick out their tongue?

I see characters making this motion frequently in anime. They pull one (or sometimes both) eyelid down, and stick out their tongue. What does that mean? Where does the gesture originate and what's ...
26
votes
4answers
23k views

Why do guys in anime often lack nipples?

As shown in the images (from Free! and Noragami, respectively), guys in anime often lack nipples. This could be explained by vague Japanese copyright laws, but other anime occasionally show guys with ...
25
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the origin of this facial expression with one's tongue sticking out?

I've seen this expression probably a dozen times in anime and manga. There are many variants, but they all have the character's tongue sticking up out of the side of their mouth. Their eyes are also ...
24
votes
5answers
21k views

Why are the shounen lead protagonists usually shown to be stupid?

One Piece's Luffy, Naruto's Naruto, Fairy Tail's Natsu, Reborn's Tsuna, Dragon Ball's Goku All of the above are shown to be simple-minded and foolish. Why is it so common to depict the lead ...
24
votes
4answers
9k views

What are the squinting faces (>_<, >o<, >△<, etc.) called?

The squinting face that anime characters make can express a range of expressions. Here are two examples: From this alone we might be inclined to call it the "cute crying face." However, consider the ...
24
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do lots of anime titles have ☆ in them?

☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃☆☃ Why do some shows have the star ☆ in them? I understand it makes it look cool, but it seems to be the only non-standard character that's used in ...
24
votes
5answers
10k views

Who was the first tsundere character?

It's not like I like tsunderes or anything, I'm just interested in anime history okay?! I just happened to be on the site, so don't get the wrong idea! Geez, j-just tell me who the first tsundere ...
21
votes
2answers
11k views

Why do almost all anime series have a “going to the beach” episode?

Not many anime have a dedicated episode for going to the cinema, concert, amusement park, circus, football match, camping or any other activities. But, almost all of them spare at least one of their ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

Why are the seven deadly sins used so often in anime?

Pretty much as my question states itself. Why are the seven deadly sins used so often? In a lot of anime I have watched/re-watched, lately I notice either a reference to the 7 deadly sins or their ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

How old is the snaggletooth trope?

A lot of anime contain characters with a snaggletooth - typically a fang-like tooth that is displayed on its own. I found it odd as snaggleteeth (misaligned teeth) are rarely ever shown in any other ...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

How did maids get popular in anime?

Nowadays, maids are basically a moe stereotype. Otaku characters like Sakurasou no Petto na Kanojou's Ryuunosuke Akasaka, Lucky Star's Konata Izumi, and the Genshiken gang all love maids. Even K-On's ...
20
votes
1answer
26k views

Who was the first “trap character”?

A "trap character"(UrbanDictionary entry, may be NSFW) is a character who appears to be a girl until you get in close enough (plot-wise) to discover they are, in fact, a boy. The inverse trope exists ...
19
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the origin of mushrooms growing on a sad person's head?

I have seen in a number of series, when a person is sad, they have mushrooms growing out of their head. In Ouran High School Host Club, this happens a number of times to Tamaki when Haruhi rejects him....
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Where did the mecha genre originate from in Japan?

I was wondering where mecha genre in Japan originated. It doesn't seem the same as something like the idea of a doll having a soul, which is from Japanese folk beliefs, but it could be. Is there ...
18
votes
2answers
14k views

Are tsundere/yandere/kuudere unisexual terms?

The terms "tsundere", "yandere" and "kuudere" are most often used when describing female characters. However, all the definitions of them start with "a person, who...", which kind of suggests that ...
18
votes
3answers
28k views

What was the first anime to have a “please notice me senpai” moment?

This meme has been prevalent in English-speaking part of the internet, but so far no one really knows its true origins. I've searched for something similar in the Japanese sphere of the internet and I ...
18
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the origin of chibi versions of characters?

In anime and manga, there are versions of characters' drawings that are called "chibi" or "super deformed". What is the history behind this, and when did drawing chibi versions of characters start?
18
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the tradition behind having magic come from eyes?

In a number of series, magic is eye-based, where the eyes either fuel the magic or are the conduit for it. Examples of this are Fai in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and the Uchihas and Hyuugas in Naruto,...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the significance of anime characters' catch phrases?

Uzumaki Naruto (Naruto) has a catch phrase "dattebayo". Ika Musume (Squid Girl) has a catch phrase "de geso". Himura Kenshin (Rurouni Kenshin) has a catch phrase "gozaru". And a lot more examples here....
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are the faces of dead people whited-out in photographs?

I've noticed that, in a number of different anime, photographs of people who have died appear with the face whited out, generally by reflections of light. Is there a tradition behind this? Is there a ...
17
votes
1answer
626 views

Where did the concept of multiple endings originate?

A lot of games (and even anime like Oreimo) have multiple endings in addition to the Normal Ending -- most commonly the Good End, Bad End, and True End. Which series or what medias first popularized ...
16
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the triangle-shaped headband these characters wear?

I don't know what to call them, but I've seen these triangle-shaped things sometimes in anime: What does the triangle-shaped headband mean and what is it called?
16
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is the Tiger/German Suplex wrestling move so popular among anime culture?

I see a lot of fan art that depict this move (even though nothing of the sort happens from the show/series where the characters came from) and even in Nichijou we have the school principal giving a ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the origin of the face fault?

In many anime, when characters are surprised or seen to do something stupid, the other characters will sometimes fall or keel over on their faces in some comical positions with their legs in the air. ...
16
votes
1answer
758 views

What animes or trends in anime was Evangelion a response to?

It has been said that in some ways Evangelion is Anno's critique to what he saw as wrong with the mecha anime genre of the time. Lists of shows that Evangelion has influenced abound, but what were ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Where did the shining eye trope come from?

When an anime character is going to do something cool - or do something with fierce determination (Thank you @Ross Ridge), animators put in a sparkle on their eye usually accompanied by a metallic '...
15
votes
1answer
23k views

Why is there so much reluctant sex in hentai?

Multiple authors on the net have pointed out that a lot of the sex in hentai is, or appears to be, non-consensual. From here: http://magicalgirlproject.tumblr.com/post/91661244454/porno-month-...
15
votes
3answers
14k views

How did the angry symbol originate?

We've all seen it many times... When someone gets angry or annoyed, the angry symbol (shown below) shows up one or more times in and around the person's head. Where did it come from? How did it get ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Are a lot of butlers named “Sebastian”?

In Lucky Star, Konata calls Shiraishi, one of her classmates (and co-host of Lucky Channellu), Sebastian, apparently because he looks like a stereotypical butler. This is presumably an anime/manga ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this type of hairstyle?

Its a kind of hairstyle that has two hair strands hanging down from the top of the head maybe at the center of it
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the origin of the trope where a person lays on the ground with their “soul” coming out of their mouth?

So I was re-reading the Fullmetal Alchemist series recently. I noticed this scene below with the man presumably on the verge of death with I presume to be his "soul" coming out of his mouth. I was ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Where did the anime trope of “clothing damage”/“clothes being torn” originate?

I noticed that commonly now in anime that mostly female characters' clothes are being torn especially in fight scenes. I googled and found this to be called Clothing Damage, and here are a list of ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do many anime OPs and EDs have onscreen lyrics?

I have noticed that much, but by no means all, of the anime that I've seen has had lyrics onscreen during either its OPs, EDs, or both. Why is this so? I know karaoke is fairly popular in Japan, so ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

When was the anime toast in the morning trope started?

For the longest time we would see things like energy drinks and other such items in the mornings with anime now the big one is toast. How long ago did this start and how did it get so popular?
14
votes
1answer
791 views

What is the origin of the trope where a person says “I can't eat anymore” 「もう食べられないよ…」 in their sleep?

When we have scene showing a person (or many people) sleeping soundly, it's quite common to have one of them saying "I can't eat anymore" 「もう食べられないよ…」 in their sleep. According to this forum thread ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is it that the swordsman's attacks appear to do nothing until they click the sword back into its sheath?

For example, in One Piece, Brook, and sometimes Zorro, do some big attack with their swords, but the cuts are not shown until after they return their swords to the sheaths.
13
votes
2answers
19k views

Name of hair style with one strand sticking upwards

I always forget what this special hairstyle is called, which is shared by some characters. I'll give some examples, I think it should be clear what I mean. Edward Elric also has this wisp(?), but I ...
13
votes
1answer
37k views

Why do anime girls have huge chests?

Today while reading "Mushoku Tensei" I once again got confronted with a character with (in my opinion) an insanely large chest. It even got mentioned that it could easily be a J size chest. I ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a term for “two-faced” or “reverse-tsundere” characters?

Is there a (Japanese) cultural term for reverse-tsundere-type or two-faced characters who are sweet on the outside, but mean people on the inside. Like Kanako from Oreimo and Akira from Lucky Star?

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