10 cliches that don’t make sense in the Shonen genre


Shonen anime is full of tropes and cliches that sometimes make anime better and sometimes worse. While tropes are often a good thing that many different mediums use to tell a story, cliches are often bad, overused ideas that wear out fairly quickly. Because there are so many shonen anime, it often seems like, with these cliches, each show is telling the same story with different characters.

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These cliches often make shows as a whole feel much weaker and may even irritate some fans, as the formula that everyone seems to follow, especially when those ideas are bad from the start, begins to wear down audiences with it. weather.

10 The abundance of weak potential women is insulting

One of the biggest tropes in shonen is the weak female lead. Shonen has a way of making super awesome female characters, who are inherently super strong, but end up turning into a damsel almost every time.

Some good examples of this are Sakura from Naruto, Uraraka from My hero academia, and Rukia and Orihime from Bleach. All of these characters are incredibly powerful and are definitely worth more than the show portrays them and ends up giving the girls a bad name.

9 Overuse of tournament bows lowers the stakes

Tournament bows feel like a cliche that has been exaggerated as they are in almost every shonen and never serve a purpose. In My hero academiaIt seems like almost every season is a tournament and it feels a bit worthless at the moment. Especially when the show didn’t really do anything with the characters it featured during the arc.

In Naruto, the chunin exam at least introduced a bunch of new characters that became totally vital to the show, showcased the main villain and plot of the series, and led to a much bigger arc that made the series what it was. . Tournament bows can be done correctly, but overall it’s a trope that is definitely becoming more and more of a cliché.

8 Sexist fan service can alienate potential viewers

Fire Force Fan Service

The fan service is exhausting and insulting to the audience. Panties photos, weird angles, girls miraculously landing on the male lead, it all feels so exhausting at this point, especially when combined with the weak cliche of the female character. It just degrades the characters, making them seem less than they are.

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Fan service isn’t always a bad thing and it often makes for a pretty good comedy, but it also leads to awkward situations and makes all the characters involved goofy.

7 Tragic backstories may be interesting, but they are overdone

Naruto swing tragic story

Another common cliché in shonen is that of the main character’s tragic backstory. Almost all of the main characters in shonen have this in one form or another. Ichigo’s mother died, Naruto grew up an orphan, Tanjiro’s entire family died.

It’s a common trope and sometimes serves as the main motivation for the character or as a central point of the plot, but most of the time the tragic backstory is there just to get rid of the parents who may not let the main character do what they please.

6 There are too many filler episodes

Bleach Bount Assault Jin Kariya

One of the most annoying cliches on this list is one almost everyone agrees on: the filler. The filler is used in many anime to catch up on the manga. Almost the last 100 episodes of Naruto Part I is all filler, Bleach it is known as the filler show by how many filler arches it has, and Rurouni Kenshin it was literally canceled due to its entire last season being full.

The filler is more prominent in shonen anime and while some of it is enjoyable, this cliche should probably occur a little less often.

5 The “inner monster” trope can be fascinating when done right

In addition to the tragic backstories, many Shonen protagonists also suffer from the cliché of the “inner monster.” Naruto has all nine tails within him and he often uses his chakra. Inuyasha loses control and turns into a demon a couple of times completely out of sight.

Ichigo becomes completely empty and turns into a killing machine. It’s a cliche often used so that the main character can climb up and eventually harness that “demon or monster inside” for his own benefit.

4 The power scaling system is really broken

Goku loses the transformation of Super Saiyan 3 - Dragon Ball Z

Power escalation is another great shonen cliché that has been played out so much. The character starts out weak but somehow gets stronger with just a little training. The main characters get stronger and stronger until they are basically a god themselves, like Meliodas in Seven deadly sins.

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Saitama in One punch man he broke this cliche by always having the same strength and being able to knock out anyone with a single punch. The series pokes fun at a number of shonen platitudes and clichés that have been exaggerated and the scale of power is one of them.

3 The endless cycle “Defeat – Train – Conquer” quickly gets boring

Dragon Ball Frieza

The main problem with power scaling is the cycle each shonen anime takes. The protagonist is defeated by the great evil, trains and is then able to defeat the great evil, only for the entire cycle to repeat itself when a new villain emerges.

The perfect example of this is in Dragon Ball Z and all its iterations, as Goku is often defeated by a godly new supervillain, trains to become stronger, and then wins the next fight. It takes all the excitement of guessing if the hero will win or not, as it is the same situation that keeps happening.

two The protagonist is always oblivious to the feelings of love interests and never makes sense

Another tired cliché is how oblivious the main character is to his love interest’s feelings for them. Naruto was constantly oblivious to Hinata even though she made it very obvious. Inuyasha assumed that Kagome was in a bad mood and couldn’t understand her feelings for him.

Midoriya doesn’t realize that Uraraka likes him more than just a friend, the list goes on. This cliché is often combined with the slightly headstrong protagonist, oblivious to everything.

1 All the big characters have funky hair

This physical cliché is quite amusing, as shonen fans can spot a main protagonist from a mile away just by their hairstyle. The protagonists of Shonen tend to have extremely funky hair, whether it is strangely styled or just an unnatural color, they can be easily spotted.

The best example of this is Kuroko no basket, where the two main characters have blue and red hair, the entire Generation of Miracles (who serve as antagonists) have unnatural hair, and everyone else on the show only has brown or black hair, making it obvious who is important.

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