Top Ten Worst Anime Cliches Version 2.0

I said I would do this one day and here it is. A revamped list of ten anime clichés I can’t stand with a passion, with examples included to highlight their prominence. Death to all of them!

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– Bear in mind that there is a difference between a cliché and a genre, so nothing like “spiritual Japan” or “war stories” are on here. Edit: Of course, when you think about it (particularly in regards to #9), the whole list is more like a top ten “complaints” list rather than a “worst clichés” one. But clichés sounds cooler, so eh.

– I’m not sure if I’ll do a best anime cliches list because I can’t think of any I particularly love to make a full list. I dig insane characters obviously. I love Tom and Jerry-style slapstick. Characters getting screwed and growing worse gives me all sorts of feels. But what I dig about anime tends to be unique to that specific anime, whereas what I don’t like is pretty common-ground. But we’ll see.

– Well enough idling. Let’s get on with what pisses me off about anime.

10. I’m A Virgin/I’m a Horndog

ZeroNo

Examples: Practically every LN Protagonist Falls Under One Or The Other.

My problem with this cliché is very simple: it feels forced. Obviously, the idea that a teenager, even when you take into account Japan’s low birthrate, can handle himself with all of these pretty girls around him is extremely hard to buy. But anime has this tendency to play the “virgin” card like it’s the gold standard, then that’s when I get pissed. I’m all for people not consummating the relationship if they’re smart about it. I understand that in real life, sex is pretty important for both parties and whatnot. But it’s pretty clear what the real reason anime guys don’t have teenagers acting horny is, and it can be attributed to the reactions to Kannagi and Ano Hana when certain females were thought to be deflowered. And whilst the intention is good, it doesn’t translate well to screen. At least have them kiss.

I’m definitely not a fan of the other side of the spectrum though. It feels like someone is trying to copy Ataru from Urusei Yatsura, except they didn’t get why Ataru worked. I talked before about how Nourin’s protagonist does this, but I think the crowning example is Saito from Zero no Tsukaima. Because they’re so horny, it’s hard to believe them when they say they love one girl (and the wrong girl on top of that) and it makes me feel like I’m rooting for infidelity or something. Maybe if their theme song was Mambo No. 5, I’d be supportive.

9. Recycling

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Examples: KyoAni and Shaft Are Two Of the Biggest Offenders Of This Cliché As Of Late. Sunrise Has Done This Countless Times, Especially With Gundam. A Bunch of Weekly Shonen Jump Series Can Only Stay In Popularity By Playing The Same Tired Trope Over and Over. And Need I Mention the VN Adaptations Back in the Old Days?

We all know the anime industry survives by ripping off other popular works without getting why those works were popular. But good works in general usually put enough spins on them so that they feel unique. Even when you’ve watched a thousand different anime, you still continue to keep up with the current stuff because there’s always something that feels new. You just got to wade through the 30-other generic recycled crap to get to them, because originality is getting harder and harder to find in the medium because of certain industry politics I’m not at liberty to talk about.

Do I really need to expand on this one? If something isn’t providing anything unique, then why should I watch it? I don’t look to mediocrity for entertainment. Real relationships themselves don’t survive by the person staying the same their entire lifetime. It’s called evolution guys. Get with the program.

8. Giving Sense to Stuff That’s Not Necessary

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Examples: Break Blade. Angel Beats. A Bunch of Light Novels, Although the Anime Adaptations Tend to Excise Details. Madoka Magica.

I don’t get the whole “please explain what’s going on here” mentality a bunch of fans seem to have regarding anime. What’s wrong with leaving things to the imagination? What’s wrong with coming up with our own theories regarding what happens? Is there any explanation that could possibly be given regarding that particular scene that would have improved the story in any way? Without ruining everything that happened previously? Without just making things shittier?

If there isn’t, then don’t bother to explain it. I’m still living life fine without needing to know the details regarding why I was born as an Asian male blogging about foreign cartoons.

7. Lazy Exposition

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Examples: Fate/Zero’s First Episode is Self-Explanatory. Nobunaga the Fool’s First Episode Is The Same. Mono/Katanagatari Take the Cake. Don’t Get Me Started on Dark F*cking Myth.

Anime is a visual medium. You’re supposed to tell the story through animation first and foremost. Not give me a book report and put some pretty pictures in the background that aren’t at all interesting to look at, especially when they don’t move. There’s a difference between throwing me into a complicated world and listening to an audiobook of some crappy fanfiction. Or playing a VN. I don’t even like reading books these days anyways. So you can bet I don’t like it when my moving pictures hand me a glossary that I am not allowed to control the pace of regarding my reading speed and go “remember this!”

Is it really a wonder that my least favorite subjects in school were literature and government? Yeah, that explains a lot, doesn’t it?

6. Reset Button Ending

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Examples: After Story/Mai-Hime Are The Most Infamous Examples. Madoka Magica Does This Too. Rahxephon Has One That Just Made Me Go WHAT?!

Life doesn’t give you second chances. There’s using entertainment to escape from reality, and then there’s just plain insulting. The reset button ending is the latter.

5. The Gary Stu/Mary Sue Character

King Kazuma

Examples: Kaze no Stigma. My Pet Monster. To-Love-Ru.

I’m usually tolerant of some crappy characters as long as they do something interesting, but I absolutely cannot stand the perfect being and the show forcing us to take their side. You guys probably know by now that my most hated anime character of all-time is Kazuma from Kaze no Stigma. Why? Because he’s a prick with no faults and the show wants us to respect him, despite him doing some pretty jackass things! That’s not a compelling protagonist! That’s a self-entitled jackass with no irony to him! Why would I want to watch a guy like that?

On the female side, we have characters like Lala from To-Love-Ru and other similar magical girlfriends who have no faults other than being a ditz. They get great grades. They’re super strong. They love our loser for no real reason. They feel like some wet dream without the personality to make them interesting in real life. They don’t even have the stupid “tragic backstory” stuff that Kazuma tried to sell himself off with.

The reason I hate these characters so much is because they feel like they’re above me. I’m fine with someone being different from me, both in real life and in fiction. But when they start thinking they’re the law or whatever, I get pissed off.

4. Pedophilia

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Examples: So Many Harem/Incest/Trashy Shows Do This.

My reason for hating this is simple: it’s pedophilia! It’s goddamn wrong, anyway you look at it. And yet Adam Sandler seems to think it’s funny in that godawful That’s My Boy film of his. Why?

3. Drama/Message Bombs (Particularly Nonsensical Ones)

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Examples: Honey and Clover II. Little Busters. Sakurasou. A Fuckton of NTR Hentai. Every Story In Hell Girl. Humanity Has Declined.

A lot of people complain regarding how they don’t like emotional manipulation or melodrama, when in reality seeing Simon in TTGL triumph over his enemies through the power of awesome is just as emotionally manipulative as the final crying scene in Anohana. The only difference is that the latter kind of emotional manipulation is fucking boring because I go to fiction to escape the fact that reality is a load of crap. And I don’t really appreciate you telling me that the environment needs to be saved or that war is bad or whatever whilst you’re at it. If you’re going to tell me that the world sucks in my escapist fiction, tell it to me as a comedy. As a martial arts romp with great action scenes. As pulp. Don’t tell it to me through a bunch of selfish people crying their eyes out and say “this is what the world is like!” I don’t generally even really like it when that stuff is done well, unless Miyazaki is the man behind the whole thing.

It particularly gets irritating when they rely on drama/message bombs to justify the most insufferable of behavior.

-The reason I still love you after all the abuse I put you through? Who cares, because love conquers all?

-Oh, the reason why we’re showing this woman killing dogs? In order to show just how dark humanity is.

-I’m siding against my family because? They’re a bunch of filthy tree haters.

Yeah, gag me.

2. Bullies

AccelWorld

Examples: Beck. Accel World. Hell Girl. Too Many Non-Anime Movies Like “Let Me In”.

If you remember my first “worst anime clichés” list, this was my most hated, and even in its current #2 position, it still pisses me off to this day.

I’m going to make this clear: these characters ruin EVERYTHING I’ve seen them in. I hate these kinds of antagonists to the point that they ruined Beck for me. The asshole who is pathetic and yet somehow has this domination over somebody because…I dunno why. For some reason, they’re always (well, usually) big and muscular. For some reason, they always have similar friends. For some reason, they don’t seem to have any hobbies outside of picking on the kid, and when they do, it’s always related to the kid. They never have any character of their own and are thus boring to watch when they’re not outright insulting my intelligence.

Basically, they’re like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs. Except they’re not the least bit funny, which is pretty much the only good bully character in my opinion. I’d like to see a show/movie where the bully is the protagonist personally…oh wait, we do have Robot Girls Z.

What else can I really say about them? They’re lazy in concept. They’re lazy in execution. They look lazy. And they irritate me. Fuck them!

1. Not Making Anything Happen

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Examples: God, where do I start with this one? PenguindrumRahxephon. Everything White Fox Makes. Odin Photon Sailer Starlight. Too Many Shonen Jump Series. K-On. Space Brothers. Robotics;Notes. Shiki. The Eccentric Family. Practically the Entire Type-Moon Franchise. Monogatari. All the Madhouse Sports Shows. Eureka Sev…Yeah I Need to Stop.

After I started blogging, I started digesting all the popular stuff that people told me were the best of the best. I ended up not really liking stuff like Eureka Seven, Rahxephon, and all that, but I couldn’t really pinpoint why besides “this isn’t what I want”. Then it suddenly clicked on me a few months ago and after revisiting some of them, as well as looking at whatever new crap White Fox puts out, the problem with these series turned out to be simple.

They. Take. Too. Long. To. Do. ANYTHING!

I’d like to re-iterate something that should have been made clear with some of the clichés below this one: I HATE shows that think you can just have the characters dick around, relying on whether you like them or not, and call it entertainment. And I also hate it when shows ignore what could have made them fun in order to focus on character development that takes too long to go anywhere and isn’t even done well. As fun as Okabe in Steins;Gate was, having him do nothing but go from girl to girl whilst spouting out theories is fucking boring when that’s all he does for eleven episodes, and wasn’t really worth that second half in the grand scheme of things. Having Kaiki and Senjougahara tell the story through their banter can be funny, but it puts me to sleep if you make it go on for however the fuck long that Monogatari Season 2 arc went. And Galilei Donna? You could have removed those middle nine episodes of nothing happening and the show wouldn’t have changed in the least. Blegh!

Do you guys really like that kind of storytelling? Do you guys really like that kind of pacing? I mean I don’t know why I’m asking that question because it’s clear that most of you do, but I’ll never understand the appeal of watching animated drawings just goof around without any plot progression . Seinfeld, a show about “nothing”, always weaved in about two-three plotlines an episode. Louie is pretty much just about a guy’s life, but that works because it’s funny AND the situations he finds himself in are creatively bizarre. I know people hated Robotics;Notes almost as much as I did, but I definitely didn’t see the difference between it and something like Rahxephon. Except for that part where Ayato accidentally kills his friend because she was linked to a Dolem. That was cooler than anything the former did.

I dunno. You guys are weird.

28 responses to “Top Ten Worst Anime Cliches Version 2.0

  1. 10. I completely agree.
    9. I guess I agree but I still watch most shows anyways even though I know they’re generic. I give them the rating they deserve but I can still enjoy them.
    8. I’m on the fence about this one. I love when things are explained for me because I hate unanswered questions but at the same time I love them because, like you said, not everything needs to be explained and sometimes the explanation ruins it.
    7. Again, I’m on the fence. I know they’re lazy and bad but I tend to like info-dumps. Maybe it’s just because I love reading and taking in info.
    6. I completely agree. The reset in AS was bullshit (though I still love the rest of it) and Madoka’s was also annoying (though, again, I still love the rest of it).
    5. I also completely agree.
    4. To each their own, I guess.
    3. I generally agree with this one.
    2. Same with this. Though if you want to see this cliche done right then watch Hajime no Ippo if you haven’t.
    1. This is where I greatly disagree. I love plot driven stories so much and they tend to be my favorite, but I can’t help but love things like K-On. They are just so mellow and pleasant to watch. Shows like Galilei Donna I agree though. If the show is going to be plot-driven then the stuff needs to build up to the end! Just look at FMA:B. Every scene did something to develop the story and characters.

    Suggestions on good cliches in no particular order:
    1. When the opening song plays during the climax (TTGL especially).
    2. The ED starts before the credit roll.
    3. The rivals team up to take on the new bigger bad guy (it’s a guilty pleasure of mine).
    4. Those overly dramatic lines like “M-MASAKA” or “NANI???” (another guilty pleasure).

      • The Masaka, Bakana, and Nani lines are always my favorite parts of a fight, especially in the generic Shounen anime/manga. Not because they’re good writing or anything, but because I’m usually giggling with anticipation beforehand and the delivery is so cliché that I can’t help but enjoy it.

        I guess, like jjpavo, they’re a real guilty pleasure for me.

  2. #9’s main probem is that they don’t understand what made the show works, but mainly they don’t even care.
    That may seems naive and cheesy, but the reason why so much person enjoyed Non Non Biyori when it was apparently nothing more than any other SoL (or Silver Spoon for that matter) is because the author(s) really cared about their characters, loved the genre and used it to its fullest.

    About #1 : Then what about Hyouka ? Or the other romance shows that are amongst your favorite.
    It doesn’t seems to be so much about “nothing” happening in most case.
    And, the eldrest abomination known as “Ebiten” has a lot of things happening, but somehow made a hentai version of Lelouch absolutely boring to watch (because it was too needlessly complicated for its own good, and absolutely don’t understand what humour is).
    Let’s not even talk about Penguindrum there.

    And you talked about Louie or Seinfield as counter example the other way around.

    So, it’s not so much the content than the way the content is exposed that is the problem there (like #7, for example).

    • I didn’t elaborate on counter-examples for #1 because it’d go on too long, but yes, there are exceptions to the rule. It’d take too long right now to explain Ikkoku or Monster, but as for Hyouka, that’s not a great example of #1. You may not like the “solve simple mysteries” thing, but the show was always either focused on a one-episode mystery or a multi-arc mystery. In addition to character development, each mystery also explored detective fiction themes and Japanese culture. It’s kind of like Bebop’s episodic stories except not nearly as exciting.

      In something like Steins;Gate, plot progression does happen in that first half, but nothing that stands up as its own story. It’s just buildup. You could argue that the early episodes of E7 were character-focused stories meant to flesh out Renton’s relationship with the Gekko, but they never went anywhere in the grand scheme of things and I didn’t find them funny.

      • Hyouka is actually one of my favourite anime and the reason I started following this blog.

        I read that as an opposition between Character-based stories and Content-based stories, and Hyouka is clearly on the first part.

        i tend to think that the quality of an anime is judged mainly by the quality of its characters (the hero, or the antagonist, Squeeler in Shin Sekai YOri being a great example of the second. I’d say Monokuma counts too)

        Haven’t watched E7 yet, so I can’t really say anything about it.
        Your problem seems to be when the character developpment and content are conflicting each other and finally disappointing on both ends.
        Galliei Donna clearly wanted you to cares about its characters, but was unable to makes them interresting, and ended up completely messing its story in the process. (and that was also the issue you had with Eccentric Family).

  3. What’s the difference between 8) and 7)? They seem as if they’re rooted in the same problem to me, which is not trusting the audience to figure out stuff on their own.

  4. Infodump is necessary in adaptations of Type Moon works. There is nothing we can do about it. It is simply too much content coming from a written media with a lot of details. Without them many things would be completely incomprehensible.

  5. 10. Absolutely agree.
    9. Well, that goes even beyond anime. Recycling in creative works is just lazy. Agree.
    8. One of those cases where the point is finding the middle way. I could mention “Making stuff up and not feeling like explaining any of it because it’s SYMBOLIC!” as an equally annoying cliche’. Sometimes a bit of healthy explaining makes all pieces fit together and shows that the authors actually DID think to what they were doing. Too much ruins the magic. The worst case that I can think of this isn’t even anime – it’s Star Wars’ midichlorians, introduced to explain something no one wanted explained.
    7. Generally agree. “Show, don’t tell” is a golden rule. To Harry who says that adapting Type Moon stuff requires exposition: then you don’t adapt it. Or you fragment it. Or you simplify the rules of the world and tweak a bit the story for the sake of the viewers. I think it’s a fault anyway – exposition is not especially more pleasant to read either, and God forbid what it must be in Visual Novels (that are already boring as they are).
    6. I’m inclined to let this go. If it’s a huge troll (like the infamous “it’s all a dream!” trick) it’s one thing. A case like Madoka is acceptable to me. And I mean, whenever a story includes in its own rules wish granting, cosmic/godly powers and/or time travel, you know that’s a possibility. It’s annoying to me only if it’s a complete asspull without buildup.
    5. Kirito should die in a fire. ’nuff said.
    4. Absolutely agree. Unless it’s Hisoka, then it’s okay.
    3. Well, I agree that pretentious anime can be annoying, but then again, it’s a matter of delivery. I loved Revolutionary Girl Utena, and does that have plenty of messages and symbolism! But it’s well done. Same applies for me to Humanity has Declined (that I didn’t think was very pretentious either; it was more joking around, maybe doing a bit of very straightforward satire, definitely not being preachy).
    2. Eh, they’re annoying. I guess they are included because, like n.10, they’re part of the everyday experience of the average high school otaku…?
    1. Again, something where execution is everything. Yeah, stuff like Non Non Biyori is boring. But by your criteria, the aforementioned Utena would fall into this category as well – lots of character development, but only 3-4 episodes of overall plot advancing in the entire series. Steins;Gate I admit was probably too slow. I think enjoyment of a series like this changes also depending on how you watch it. I marathoned S;G. Weekly, it would have probably been much worse.

    • 5. No idea how I forgot about Kirito. To be honest, I find his Gary-Stu nature hilarious because the show tries so hard to make you care for him when there’s nothing to care for.

      4. Hisoka is above all rules.

      3. Thing with Humanity is that it felt like the messages were driving the story, which isn’t something that sits well with me. That, and the humor felt like it was being surreal for surreal’s sake, which caused me to not laugh at anything. I’m not a big fan of the writer, Romeo Tanaka, because he has a tendency to do that in everything I see of his. Not that I’ve looked at Cross Channel, but…

      1. I mentioned this in an earlier post and in regards to Hyouka to a commenter above, but Utena makes it work by having each individual episodic story stand on its own in the same vein as Bebop. Sure a bunch of the Black Rose Saga wasn’t relevant to the story and feels like an OVA series crammed into the middle, but unlike Penguindrum, each episode had its own premise, buildup, and climax. You may not like the episodic story being told, but that’s a different matter entirely.

      • 1. Yeah, I guess I wanted to say there’s a full spectrum between Super Sonico’s “nothing happens” and higher forms of the same trope. “Nothing happens” can be literal, mean that nothing of relevance to the plot happens, that there’s no plot to begin with etc. Silver Spoon could be argued to be another show where “nothing happens” in a sense, but I like it more because it feels like there still is “something” to fill the void. I think in other words there’s a sense to “chilling out with the characters” too, if it’s done well. Of course, what “done well” means is subjective. Btw I dropped Penguindrum out of boredom so I can relate with you there.

      • Penguindrum is interresting because its main problem is “style over substance”. You could actually say the same things for most of Shaft shows, actually…
        Ikuhara was so occupied by his visual tricks and shocking twists that he forgot things like basic story constructions or common shows.
        Utena’s strict episode structured allowed it to control its imagination. Without it it’s still innovative and povocative, but without any clear message or drection like Utena, it ended up being nothing more than a hollow shell

      • A question. What you read from Romeo Tanaka (his significant work)? Jinrui anime and novel are considerably different. Then comment on it based on an adaptation I dont know if it’s correct (and he did not have many of his work adapted). And jinrui is not so much a representative of his work.

      • That’s like saying people can’t bash Jun Maeda based on just the KyoAni adaptations. But regardless, I’ve seen the Aura movie. I’ve played Rewrite, A Drug That Makes You Dream, and *some of* Kana Little Sister. They all had the same problems (well, maybe not the last one).

    • Afterstory:
      It was sad to see Nagisa die and the following single father episodes. I’m also
      glad that they made these alternate endings for Kyou, You, and Tomoyo, perhaps to
      illustate the research that Ichinose and her parents worked on that there are
      infinite parallel worlds and within these paralell worlds maybe other infinite
      paralell worlds that while they cant be seen or felt, can have an impact on the
      world they are connected to.It made me think about the choices we make and how
      such a small action can change not just your life in profound ways, but those of
      others as well. plus Throughout the story it is mentioned that when someone
      experiences a moment of true and lasting joy, a glowing orb is created that has
      the ability to grant the person who catches it one wish. When Tomoya makes up
      with his father, one of those orbs (a greenish one) falls and lands in Tomoya’s
      jacket unnoticed by him. So whether Nagisa’s revival is his wish being granted by
      the orb, or a look into one of the parrallel worlds of Ichinose’s research. It is
      not simply a case of hitting the reset button, but a mechanism of the world the
      series takes place in. I was still like WTF is going on here during her revival
      episode, but then rewatching it helped me piece it together.

  6. I agree with some of your points but still, I should point out that you seem to hate intellectual shows.

    2deep4u, it seems.

      • I just watched Utena and there really isn’t much to it. Too many filler episodes in the Black rose arc, even the End of the world “car” arc got really repetitive. Plus I can’t stand incest so subtract more points for Utena. In the big picture it’s not even clear what the nemesis is after even in the grand finale episode. I just saw Adolescence of Utena and enjoyed it more than the series which is rare for me to prefer a film adaptation to the original series. It’s a quick trippy look at the Utena story without the incest, filler, and has equally little intellectual value to the original

  7. 10. I can’t fathom how anime protagonists are so outwardly horny without being aware of their surroundings. They have no self-restraint and no self-awareness. Usually, the fun of watching a character is discerning their inner thoughts based on their actions. But these characters just blurt out and do what they want. Who acts like that (except people who ought to be in jail)? It just says there’s nothing worth anything in their heads.

    9. Half the fun of reading about upcoming seasons is going through the list and go, “Another one?” Anime likes to jump on the bandwagon because that guarantees an audience who will eat it up even though it’s been ripped off another series. Need I list the recent trends? Light novels with long names, imōto, chūnibyō, otaku culture, anime about unpopular protagonists, school clubs that do nothing, etc. Have fun naming all the anime that fit into these. I would like to see what happens to the industry 5 or 10 years from now. Will it be the same? Will it ease up on making copycats? Or will it implode from the weight of it all?

    7. This is one of the worst. Much of anime is adapted from manga, light novels, and games, which do contain exposition. But when they’re adapted, those expositions should not become dialogue! I also hate how anime tends to let the audience hear the character’s thoughts. You can do that in novels, but can you imagine if your favorite live-action movies had audible thoughts?

    5. Perfect prick, or unredeemable loser. Your choice.

    3. Anime is not known for subtlety.

    2. As an extension, add “teachers and police are useless”. If a victim report his predicament to the teachers or the police, the usual answer is that there’s no proof they’re being victimized. Teachers and police in anime are either blind or deaf or both. A slightly better response is that the victim should suck it up. These incidents usually get resolved without intervention from a person of authority or the law enforcement, or they don’t get resolved at all. I tend to have a little more faith in teachers and police than anime and manga authors. I’d hate to chalk this one up to “cultural differences”. After all, in Glee, the cheeringleading coach was more powerful than the principal, making him useless most of the time.

  8. With all due respect to your opinions, I think you’re confusing cliches with “stuffs you don’t like”.

    Taken from dictionary:

    – Cliche: an idea, action, or habit that has become trite from overuse.

    10. This is a cliche.
    9. Valid point, I agree with you 100%. However, this is not a cliche. This is called milking the formula. Moe sells anime these days. Ideas get recycled because they were successful and is the “easy” way to make money. Recycling is the action that invokes and codifies cliche. To be fair, as you said, there are things that get recycled but the execution is more polished or they put a new spin on old ideas (i.e. the main Super Mario franchise)
    8. This is what the authors decide to do with their stories. They screwed up. But when the explanation works for something that doesn’t need it and the viewers buy it, is it still a cliche? Explaining events or themes in a work only amounts to doing it correctly. Doing it clumsily will leave everyone going “WTF?”. Without the explanations, sometimes we’d get a different crowd complaining about not understanding what is going on (pretty much defines the existence of Penguindrum). For this matter, I don’t think there is a specific correct answer, just something to be carefully considered. Also, I don’t recall Madoka explaining anything unnecessary, perhaps I can use a refresher.
    7. Read 8, they’re pretty similar.
    6. Pretty sure reset button ending is not too universal or mainstream. I do know that you watch more shows than I do, so I could be wrong.
    5. Again, Stu/Sue are not omnipresent enough to be a cliche. There are some unintentional Sue/Stu out there, who only gain that status because some writer don’t know what they’re doing. Mostly more prevalent in the fanfiction community.
    4. It’s a fetish, and it’s Japan. I guess you can kind of count all the omnipresent 4-koma or 4 high school girls anime and their intended demographic. Pedophilia itself is rarely used as a plot device, as far as I know my anime. Well, it’s the thing that sells. I think you might have meant the cliche of that one loli character with a squeaky voice who shows up in almost every anime. I think imouto/little sister trend also deserves a mention.
    3. Yeah, I can agree with this. Every Key works ever and AnoHana.
    2. Haven’t seen bullies enough to call them a cliche, but I cannot rebut because I too have not seen bullies being done right before. I have been bullied in real life and it’s quite different from the generic violent shameless asses that anime puts out.
    1. Again, authors getting it wrong and their story composition do not make for a cliche. Cliches are plot devices that are used in the most generic unimaginative way imaginable. Things not happening means bad composition, and has nothing to do with bad use of ideas. Plot devices only become a cliche when SOMEBODY gets it right (by “right”, I mean that it is successful, not necessarily a good thing) and everyone jumps the bandwagon and makes it decay from why it might have worked in the first place, just as you said.

    Well, just something interesting I’d like to share, I feel the same way about Utena as you do about Penguindrum about nothing happening. However, when it comes down to heart, I thought Penguindrum has more charm and was more engaging, both visually and character interaction. Just my thoughts on your dislike of Penguindrum, so we can agree to disagree here.

  9. “It’s called evolution guys. Get with the program.”

    They’re with the program. Evolution is lazy. We need a mass extinction event or an invasive megapredator.

  10. Here’s all I have to say about #1:

    “KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
    next episode
    “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
    next episode
    “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
    next episode
    “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
    On the next episode, plot progression!
    “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”

  11. God you have shit taste. “Talky stuff bore, me want see punch?! Me zero patience, me see punch now?!!?!? All is to fiction?!!??”