ColossalCon 8 Live Blog – Tropes and Stereotypes

6/6/09
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Tropes are not the same as cliches. Tropes are storytelling devices and conventions that a writer can rely on when telling a story. The purpose of this panel is to analyze anime and break it down to all the different tropes used. Almost every single anime/manga will fall into one of these tropes.

Anime Genres

  • Magical/Alien/Exotic Girlfriend – some guy gets some really weird girlfriend and is about them living together or their love, etc.
  • Magical Girl – i.e. Sailor Moon
  • Mons – monsters, Pokemon
  • Unwanted Harem – a guy with a bunch of girls, a girl with a bunch of guys, i.e. Ranma
  • Metantei – great detective, Case Closed, Spiral
  • Kaitou – mysterious phantom thief who is flamboyant, Lupin III
  • Mecha – real robot/super robot, Gundam, Macross, Gurren Lagann
  • Slice of Life – people just doing everyday things
  • Kodomomuke – manga/anime for children, Hamtaro
  • Shonen – for guys
    • Rescue Arc
    • To be a master – Naruto, One Piece
    • Tournament Arc – DBZ
  • Shojo – for girls
  • Josei – shojo for mature audiences
  • Seinen – shonen for mature audiences

Anime Settings

  • Tokyo is the Center of the Universe
  • Jidai Geki
  • Trapped in Another World
  • Shrines and Temples
  • Elaborate University High
  • Cool Starship
  • Ghibli Hills
  • Desert Punk

Anime Character Types

  • Bokukko – tomboy character
  • Dojikko – clumsy girl
  • Genki Girl/Keet – super hyper active, i.e. Excel Saga
  • Yandere – clingy girl who dotes on some guy, i.e. School Days, Shuffle!
  • Tsundere – the one telling the main guy what a jerk he is and putting him down but actually likes him
  • Kuudere – standoff-ish, “Ice Queen,” is dismissive of everyone but has endearing qualities such as a tragic past, i.e. C.C. from Code Geass
  • Meganekko – girl with glasses
  • Oyaji Kid – a kid in a group who is very wise, i.e. Shikimaru from Naruto
  • Badass Lolita – little girl who can do lots of damage
  • Bridge Bunnies – random girls on the bridge of a ship who are just there doing some work
  • Dirty Old Man – old character who is a pervert, i.e. Master Roshi from Dragon Ball
  • Gaias Vengeance – someone who wants to do damage to the human race for screwing up the Earth
  • Half Human Hybrid – not human, something else mixed in, i.e. catgirls
  • The Messiah – the one who is destined to save everyone or everything
  • Red Oni/Blue Oni – two guys who are opposites but have to work together, i.e. Mugen and Jin from Samurai Champloo
  • Unlucky Everydude – the normal guy, i.e. guys in harem anime

Anime Character Types – color coded hair

  • White Haired Pretty Boy – (needs to be long hair) usually evil
  • White Haired Pretty Girl – symbolizes purity or uniqueness
  • Dark Skinned Blonde – the ditz from the group or the foreigner
  • Dark Skinned Red Hair – usually denotes hyperactivity
  • Pale Skinned Brunette – creepy
  • Blonds are Evil vs. Hair of Gold
  • Curtain Matches the Window – eye color and hair color match

Five Man Band

  • The Hero – the leader
  • The Rebel/Lancer – best fighter but does not folllow along
  • The Chick – can keep everyone together
  • The Big Guy – can be big jolly or quiet
  • The Smart Guy/Kid – immature and brash or the brains behind everything
  • Others
    • Mentor
    • Mascot
    • Tagalong kid
    • Sixth Ranger

Gundam Wing example

  • The Hero – Heero
  • The Rebel – Wufei
  • The Chick –
  • Big Guy – Trowa
  • The Kid – Duo

Five Bad Band

  • The Big Bad – evil mastermind behind everything
  • The Dragon – the best fighter
  • The Evil Genius – creates all the evil equipment
  • The Brute – is usually dumb, but there to hit things
  • The Dark Chick – she is usually really weird
  • The Psycho Rangers

Anime Tropes

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council
  • Big Freaking Sword
  • Can’t Catch Up – a great example is DBZ where the less powerful characters can’t catch up to someone like Goku
  • Diagonal Cut – commonly seen in samurai type genres
  • Empathy Pet
  • Finger Twiddling –
  • Girl in a Box – some girl trapped in a box who then comes out and does something, i.e. Melfina from Outlaw Star
  • Hot Springs Episode
  • I just want to be normal
  • Katanas are Just Better
    • Wooden Katanas are Even Better
  • Love Dodecahedron – super complicated love triangle which extends to 3D, i.e. Ranma 1/2
  • Macross Missle Massacre – a massive amount of missles fly out, i.e. Heavyarms
  • Noblewoman’s Laugh – upperclass woman laugh, i.e. Naga’s Laugh
  • Only One Allowed to Defeat You – martial arts series
  • Paper Fan of Doom
  • Rummage Sale Reject Clothes – i.e. Digimon
  • Suck my Rose – i.e. Tuxedo Mask, Ouran High School
  • Tokyo Fireball
  • Unusual Uninteresting Sight
  • Visible Sigh
  • Weak but Skilled
  • Years too Early
  • Zero Sum Game

Mecha Tropes

  • Rule of Cool – if it’s cool it doesn’t matter
  • A Mech by any Other Name – i.e. Nightmare Frames, Gundams
  • Mo Cap Mecha – really agile mecha, i.e. G Gundam
  • Mecha Expansion Pack – they gets upgrades, so you add on a new weapon or something, i.e. Code Geass float units
  • Giant Robot Hand Saves Lives – falling tens of stories onto steel apparently saves people
  • First Church of Mecha
  • Caped Mecha

Manga Effects

  • Screen Tones
  • Aspect Montage – if you don’t want to show the entire kitchen they just show parts of it such as pots
  • Black Flashback
  • On Screen Footnotes
  • Written Sound Effects
  • Hexagonal Word Balloon
  • Odd Shaped Panel

Fanservice Tropes – he didn’t really have any.

Well that’s about the end of his presentation so I might check out to the AMV Wars.

Posted on June 6, 2009, in ColossalCon 2009, Conventions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Yeah, but what’s your panel of how the panel went?

  2. Yeah, but what’s your opinion on how the panel went?

    • Was that your panel? I thought it was pretty good and summarized most of the commonly used tropes and stereotypes. You mentioned that there are probably a few anime that will not fall into these categories, but overall it was a good overview. For the amount of time given you were able to utilize the time to the fullest and the flow of the panel went pretty well.

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