The unbeatable main character, the Tsun-tsun, un healthy yandere relationship. What do these three things have in common? They are anime tropes. Now, what the heck is a trope? It’s a type of concept or motif… I lost ya didn’t I? Let me shine a little light on this subject shall we?. The good. The bad. And the just plain, ridiculous world of tropes.
Trope? What is this word you speak of?
Trope. To put it simply and in the words of the dictionary it is a motif or a type of concept in a show, movie, or story. In our case we are talking about anime tropes. An anime trope is basically what you can expect to see right off the bat in an anime. What drives the story
Here, I’ll give you an example. Fairy Tail. No matter who he’s against, no matter how hard the battle is, Natsu Dragneel always comes out on top. Even when it seems impossible. For example, the battle against Master Hades. It seemed like he was completely out matched and pumbled to a pulp right? Regardless of this, he still came out on top.
Because of two things: 1. He is an overpowered main character. 2. The power of friendship. (Cue cutesy little rainbow here.)
Those two concepts right there are tropes. They are concepts, or ideas that come up constantly in not only Fairy Tail, but in other animes too. For example, you will see these concepts as the main driving force for the story line in many Shonen. And the occasional Shonen ai.
Ok, so that’s what tropes are, but is there more than those two?
Of course! The anime world is vast and full of different types of animes so of course there is different tropes. The over powered main character and the power of friendship are just two of the main common ones. Some other ones are:
- Predestined love. –Right off the bat you know which characters are going to get together at the end of the anime
- “I love you or I have feelings for you, but I’m going to pretend to hate you because I’m a Tsundere. –Pretty sure this one speaks for itself.
- Characters die almost every so don’t get attached. –Attack on Titan anyone?
And those are just some of the common tropes you seein anime. There are many more out there. Some are even quite cringe-worthy so to speak. For example the most common trope seen in harems: Main character (usually male) is either a complete idiot or doesn’t care about anything, has a very normal and boring life, and has no idea what to do when “suddenly” a big group of girls come from “nowhere” and fall hopelessly in love with them.
Now, why are tropes so important?
Simple. Even though some may be irritating as hell, they shape most if not all of the characters. Not only that but they drive the story along and make it what it is. Without a trope, an anime wouldn’t have any basis.
So, what are some of your favorite or most cringe-worthy tropes? Do you think they help or hinder an anime? Feel free to tell me in the comments below!
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