List of Anime/Japanese Videogame Cliches

Okay, so the idea for this came when I was playing MegaMan Battle Network 3. At one point, Mrs. Mari came along and expressed concern for him, warned him not to go into too much of a dangerous situation, etc., whereas his mom just had a pithy NPC line. Which led me to create this list.

<b><i>You know you’re in an anime or anime-style video game when …</i></b>
<ol><li>The fifth-grade hero’s teacher expresses more concern for him than his mother.
<li>The male lead – regardless of his age or appearance – is considered attractive by the entire female cast, regardless of THEIR age or appearance.
<li>The characters look Caucasian, even though they have Japanese names, and this is supposed to be a Japanese cartoon.
<li>Giant robots show up.
<li>“Five minutes” is stretched over an entire thirty-minute episode.
<li>The characters’ legs account for more than half their height.
<li>A droll remark is made and the response is for everyone who listened to it to fall flat on their faces with a silly THUD noise.
<li>The characters say the extremely long name of whatever attack they are using before they use it, and their opponents make no attempt to take advantage of the time it takes for them to say it.
<li>A cute girl in a Japanese schoolgirl outfit (whether she herself is Japanese or not) can PWN an Evil Overlord/Empress. And does. Several times.
<li>The characters’ mouth movements don’t even TRY to match their dialogue.

Good going, Yar. In fact, I saw a book on these at a store in Epcot Center, but sadly had no money on me at the time to buy it. But, I’ll order it thru the mail so I can add more authentic touches to my Anime/Video Game based stories. (I think the title was, “What’s Japanese in Anime and Manga?”)

Interesting. Prehaps I ought’s to try to get my hands on it. But do you have anything to add to the list?

The protagonist will continually question, inan angst-filled melodramatic manner, why he is fighting, even though the reason he’s fighting is bloody obvious (kill Hitler’s clone, defeat aliens, etc)

AKA the Raiden syndrome (MGS2 Raiden, not the far superior MK Raiden)

Every robot must develop some kind of primitive emotional system/soul during the course of the series/film.

((Warning: Insanely long post c/p’ed from ahead.))

#1 - Law of Metaphysical Irregularity
The normal laws of physics do not apply.

#2 - Law of Differentiated Gravitation
Whenever someone or something jumps, is thrown, or otherwise is rendered airborne, gravity is reduced by a factor of 4.

#3 - Law of Sonic Amplification, First Law of Anime Acoustics
In space, loud sounds, like explosions, are even louder because there is no air to get in the way.

#4 - Law of Constant Thrust, First Law of Anime Motion
In space, constant thrust equals constant velocity.

#5 - Law of Mechanical Mobility, Second Law of Anime Motion
The larger a mechanical device is, the faster it moves. Armored Mecha are the fastest objects known to human science.

#6 - Law of Temporal Variability
Time is not a constant. Time stops for the hero whenever he does something ‘cool’ or ‘impressive’. Time slows down when friends and lovers are being killed and speeds up whenever there is a fight.

#7 - First Law of Temporal Mortality
‘Good Guys’ and ‘Bad Guys’ both die in one of two ways. Either so quick they don’t even see it coming, OR it’s a long drawn out affair where the character gains much insight to the workings of society, human existence or why the toast always lands butter side down.

#8 - Second Law of Temporal Mortality
It takes some time for bad guys to die… regardless of physical damage. Even when the ‘Bad Guys’ are killed so quickly they didn’t even see it coming, it takes them a while to realize they are dead. This is attributed to the belief that being evil damages the Reality Lobe of the brain.

#9 - Law of Dramatic Emphasis
Scenes involving extreme amounts of action are depicted with either still frames or black screens with a slash of bright color (usually red or white).

#10 - Law of Dramatic Multiplicity
Scenes that only happen once, for instance, a ‘Good Guy’ kicks the ‘Bad Guy’ in the face, are seen at least 3 times from 3 different angles.

#11 - Law of Inherent Combustibility
Everything explodes. Everything.
First Corollary -
Anything that explodes bulges first.

Second Corollary -
Large cities are the most explosive substances known to human science. Tokyo in particular seems to be the most unstable of these cities, sometimes referred to as “The Matchstick City”.

#12 - Law of Phlogistatic Emission
Nearly all things emit light from fatal wounds.

#13 - Law of Energetic Emission
There is always an energy build up (commonly referred to as an energy ‘bulge’) before Mecha or space craft weapons fire. Because of the explosive qualities of weapons, it is believed that this is related to the Law of Inherent Combustibility.

#14 - Law of Inverse Lethal Magnitude
The destructive potential of any object/organism is inversely proportional to its size.
First Corollary -
Small and cute will always overcome big and ugly. Also known as the A-Ko phenomenon.

#15 - Law of Inexhaustibility
No one EVER runs out of ammunition. That is of course unless they are cornered, out-numbered, out-classed, and unconscious.

#16 - Law of Inverse Accuracy
The accuracy of a ‘Good Guy’ when operating any form of fire-arm increases as the difficulty of the shot increases. The accuracy of the ‘Bad Guys’ when operating fire-arms decreases when the difficulty of the shot decreases. (Also known as the Storm trooper Effect) Example: A ‘Good Guy’ in a drunken stupor being held upside down from a moving vehicle will always hit, and several battalions of ‘Bad Guys’ firing on a ‘Good Guy’ standing alone in the middle of an open field will always miss.
First Corollary -
The more ‘Bad Guys’ there are, the less likely they will hit anyone or do any real damage.

Second Corollary -
Whenever a ‘Good Guy’ is faced with insurmountable odds, the ‘Bad Guys’ line up in neat rows, allowing the hero to take them all out with a single burst of automatic fire and then escape.

Third Corollary -
Whenever a ‘Good Guy’ is actually hit by enemy fire, it is in a designated ‘Good Guy Area’, usually a flesh wound in the shoulder or arm, which restricts the ‘Good Guy’ from doing anything more strenuous than driving, firing weaponry, using melee weapons, operating heavy machinery, or doing complex martial arts maneuvers.

#17 - Law of Transient Romantic Unreliability
Minmei is a bimbo.

#18 - Law of Hemoglobin Capacity
The human body contains over 12 gallons of blood, sometimes more, under high pressure.

#19 - Law of Demonic Consistency
Demons and other supernatural creatures have at least three eyes, loads of fangs, tend to be yellow-green or brown, but black is not unknown, and can only be hurt bladed weapons.

#20 - Law of Militaristic Unreliability
Huge galaxy-wide armadas, entire armies, and large war machines full of cruel, heartless, bloodthirsty warriors can be stopped and defeated with a single insignificant example of a caring/loving emotion or a song.

#21 - Law of Tactical Unreliability
Tactical geniuses aren’t…

#22 - Law of Inconsequential Undetectability
People never notice the little things… Like missing body parts, or wounds the size of Seattle.

#23 - Law of Juvenile Intellectuality
Children are smarter than adults. And almost always twice as annoying.

#24 - Law of Antagonistic Americanthropomorphism
The really nasty ‘Bad Guys’ are always skinny Americans.

#25 - Law of Americanthropomorphistic Intellectual Inferiority
The stupid ‘Good Guys’ are always big Americans.
First Corollary -
The only people who are more stupid than the big dumb Americans are the American translators. (Sometimes referred to as the Green Line Effect)

Second Corollary -
The only people who are more stupid than the American translators are the American editors and censors.

#26 - Law of Mandibular Proportionality
The size of a person’s mouth is directly proportional to the volume at which they are speaking.

#27 - Law of Feline Mutation
Any half-cat/half-human mutation will invariably:

  1. be female
  2. will possess ears and sometimes a tail as a genetic mutation
  3. wear as little clothing as possible, if any

#28 - Law of Conservation of Firepower
Any powerful weapon capable of destroying/defeating an opponent in a single shot will invariably be reserved and used only as a last resort.

#29 - Law of Technological User-Benevolence
The formal training required to operate a spaceship or mecha is inversely proportional to its complexity.

#30 - Law of Melee Luminescence
Any being displaying extremely high levels of martial arts prowess and/or violent emotions emits light in the form of a glowing aura. This aura is usually blue for ‘good guys’ and red for ‘bad guys’. This is attributed to Good being higher in the electromagnetic spectrum than Evil.

#31 - Law of Non-anthropomorphic Antagonism
All ugly, non-humanoid alien races are hostile, and usually hell-bent on destroying humanity for some obscure reason.

#32 - Law of Follicular Chroma Variability
Any color in the visible spectrum is considered a natural hair color. This color can change without warning or explanation.

#33 - Law of Topological Aerodynamics, First Law of Anime
Aero-Dynamics ANY shape, no matter how convoluted or odd-looking, is automatically aerodynamic.

#34 - Law of Probable Attire
Clothing in anime follows certain predictable guidelines. Female characters wear as little clothing as possible, regardless of whether it is socially or meteorologically appropriate. Any female with an excessive amount of clothing will invariably have her clothes ripped to shreds or torn off somehow. Whenever there is a headwind, a Male characters will invariably wear a long cloak which doesn’t hamper movement and billows out dramatically behind him.
First Corollary (Cryo-Adaptability) -
All anime characters are resistant to extremely cold temperatures, and do not need to wear heavy or warm clothing in snow.

Second Corollary (Indecent Invulnerability) -
Bikinis render the wearer invulnerable to any form of damage.

Thrid Corollary -
No sort of clothing, whether it be a leather body suit or full body armor will in no way encumber its wearer.

#35 - Law of Musical Omnipotence
Any character capable of musical talent (singing, playing an instrument, etc.) is automatically capable of doing much more “simple” things, like piloting mecha, fighting crime, stopping an intergalactic war, and so on…especially if they have never attempted these things before.

#36 - Law of Quintupular Agglutination
Also called “The Five-man Rule”, when “Good Guys” group together, it tends to be in groups of five. There are five basic positions, which are:

  1. The Hero/Leader
  2. His Girlfriend
  3. His Best Friend/Rival
  4. A Hulking Brute
  5. A Dwarf/Kid

Between these basic positions are distributed several attributes, which include:

  1. Extreme Coolness
  2. Amazing Intelligence
  3. Incredible Irritation

#37 - Law of Extradimensional Capacitance
All anime females have an extradimensional storage space of variable volume somewhere on their person from which they can instantly retrieve any object at a moment’s notice.
First Corollary (The Hammer Rule) -
The most common item stored is a heavy mallet, which can be used with unerring accuracy on any male who deserves it. Other common items include costumes/uniforms, power suits/armor, and large bazookas.

#38 - Law of Hydrostatic Emission
Eyes tend to be rather large in Anime. This is because they contain several gallons of water, which may be instantaneously released at high pressure through large tear ducts. The actual volume of water contained in the eyes is unknown, as there is no evidence to suggest that these reservoirs are actually capable of running out. The reason water tends to collect in the eyes is because Anime characters only have one large sweat gland, which is located at the back of the head.

#39 - Law of Chromatic Diversity
Air can be any color of the viewable spectrum.

#40 - Law of Old man Comic Relief
One law would be that Comic relief comes in the form of a short bald wise mouthed dirty old man or alien Or the combation of any two of thoughs traits.
First Corollary -
If old man is present, and is acting too horny, stupid, etc., there will invariably be an old woman to whap him over the head with a frying pan or something.

#41 - Law of the wise old man
Little, old Japanese men always know how it ends and withhold the ending from anyone, especially the hero. This includes special power weapons, ancient relics, and people who know everything.

#42 - Law of Omnipotent Unreliability
Any ‘Bad Guy’ with Omnipotent powers/weapons will never use those powers/weapons against the ‘Good Guy’ until it is too late.
First Corollary
All ‘Bad Guys’ suffer from Antagonistic Boasting Sydrome which require all ‘Bad Guys’ to threaten with or exemplify their prowess and not use it against the ‘Good Guy’.

Second Corollary
No ‘Bad Guy’ may use any new, secret, or superior military device without one of the following events occuring:

a) The control device being broken.
b) The control device being taken by the ‘Good Guy’.
c) The control device is in fact not the real device at all and was just ‘fooled’ by the ‘Good Guy’.
d) The ‘Bad Guy’ has already lost and cannot use the device.

#43 - Law of minimum corneal volume:
Eyeballs may make up no less than one sixth of the face’s total surface area. More so if the case is a blonde woman.

#44 - Law of Electrical charges in hair
Hair attracts electricity in abudance, resulting in two outcmes:

a) A positive charge will result in the spikes-flying-everywhere-behind-me look.
b) A negative charge will result in the hair-cascading-down-to-the-waist-in-a-single-sheet look.

#45 - Law of ammunition accuracy
When there are multiple type of ammunition available (paint balls, speaker pods), non-lethal rounds will always be more accurate when compared to ‘standard’ or lethal shots. (Macross Plus for paintballs, Macross 7 for speaker pods)

#46 - Law of Active Female Attraction
In a comdey series, a male character’s attractiveness to women is inversely perportional to how active they they persue them. (Tenchi, Ramna, and Makoto [OVA] have a seemingly endless supply of willing girlfriends despite their lack of romantic skill while Happosi, Ataru, and Carrot couldn’t get a date despite (or because of) their constsnt attempts.)

#47 - Law of Sweat Pore Variability
When a person is embarrased, caught in an akward situation, or otherwise humiliated, all sweat pores on the body contract, except for ones on the forehead. These pores expand to such a degree that a single drop could fill a big gulp from 7-11.

#48 - The law of Inverse Training Time
A person who has been training for 3 years is never as good as someone who has been training for 1 month.

#49 - Law of needs to few and many
The needs of the many, outway the needs of the few…of even the one.

#50 - Law of Bad Humor
Whenever someone says something that is intended to be a joke, whether actually funny or not, the rest of the characters on the screen (including animals) would fall to the ground with feet in the air. Sweat would sometimes accompany the fall.

#51 - Law of Extreme Anger
Whenever a female character gets mad, such as seeing the male character with another girl, she would become extremely strong (despite her usually helpless look) so that she can lift up a 1000 tons object to hurt the guy. She can sometimes perform other punishments that are so cruel such as pinching the guy’s face so hard that it would change shape.

#52 - Law of Differentiated Gravitation
First Corollary
If the airborne entity exceeds an altitude equal or greater than two times the height of the entity, gravity is decreased by an inverse coefficient relative to the upward momentum and mass/weight (if within at least 500 km of any gravity source) of the entity ‘jumping’.

Second corollary
The amount of Newtonian ‘opposite force’ (in accordance to normal downward velocity; ‘Earth gravity’ speed is equal to 32ft /sec/sec) is also inversely proportional to the ‘actual’ speed of the airborne entity. In all actuality, an entity that appears to be flying towards a solid concrete parking lot from space will actually land, producing an opposite force of approximatly 1.73 lbs of pressure. Unless this articular entity is a ‘bad guy’. Then, the law exhibits a mysterious exponentially proportional Newtonain opposite force, thusly increasing this variable by a factor equal to the inverse-gravity potential.

#53 - Law of Conservation of Ambient Dramatic Tension
In any situation where the Ambient Dramatic Tension increases, the ‘Good Guy’s’ Style Coefficient must increase by a proportional amount to compensate. In any situation where this does not happen, the ‘Bad Guy’ inevitably comes out on top. However, this usually leads to a further rise in the Ambient Dramatic Tension, which will always be offset by an exponential increase in the ‘Good Guy’s’ Style Coefficient.

#54 - Law of Coersive Vehicular Control
No matter how complex or well defined the control system, a character controlling a vehicle of any sort always does so through means of undetectable subconcious psychokinesis.
First Corollary
Characters can perform actions with their vehicles which clearly defy normal physics (see Laws of Metaphysical Irregularity and Constant Thrust). The velocity, attitude and traction of the vehicle appear to be adjustable at will, with the degree of absolute control being proportional to the complexity and lethality of the manouver.

Second Corollary
It is effectively impossible to remove characters from or disrupt the passage of their vehicles without the character’s consent. This does not always apply to ‘Bad Guy’ characters, or ‘Good Guy’ characters in situations where the Ambient Dramatic Tension could increase in accordance with the Law of Conservation of Ambient Dramatic Tension.

#55 - Amendment to the Law of Conservation of Ambient Dramatic Tension
In any situation where the Ambient Dramatic Tension increases without a corresponding increase in the ‘Good Guy’s’ Style Coefficient, not only does the ‘Bad Guy’ usually come out on top, but also his Smugness Factor increases in proportion to the rise in Ambient Dramatic Tension.

#56 - Law of The Rushing Background Effect
Whenever something dramatic occurs, a survival instinct engages, thus rendering all incoming stimulous that is not directly and immediately important to the dramatic situation at hand a meaningless blur. This is often refered to as The Rushing Background Effect. Due to the increase in brain activity and adrenaline levels in the blood stream, the scene is often played out in slow motion.

#57 - The Law of Interdimensional Hammers
Whenever a female character witnesses a male character of her preference performing any sort of questionable act (i.e. looking at another girl or anything she might construe as perverted) she can reach into an interdimensional realm (usually behind her back) and withdraw a huge Anime Mallet of Doom with which to whack the said male over the head with.

#58 - The Law of Instant Band-Aids
Whenever a character is injured (usually in a head shot, maybe from a mallet whack) Band-Aids will always instantly appear on the wounded individual (and always in pairs, set in a cross fashion) These bandages will then, most likely, disappear by the characters next screenshot.

#59 - Law of Universal Edge Defense
Any projectile attack, from a blast of magic to a hail of bullets, can be easily defended against by holding a suitably cool-looking sword or other bladed weapon between the attacker and defender, usually so that the edge cuts into the incoming attack(s), causing the halves to go flying harmlessly past the defender. Observed most often in fantasy and martial arts anime.

#60 - Law of Intractable Sanity
There is no such thing as insanity in anime. When faced with horrifying supernatural forces that would drive most men mad, anime characters will either:

a) Die quickly (but in accordance with all other laws (e.g., slowdown and exposition),
b) Get possessed by them, especially if they are beautiful girls or men in a position to ravish beautiful girls, or
c) Kill them, wipe the blood off their blades, and walk on whistling.

#61 - Celestial Body Control
At a dramatically correct moment, a hero can summon a sun/moon/halo to appear behind him to cause a dramatic silhoutte.

#62 - Aura of Forgetfulness
Any hero who wishes his identity to remain secret will invariably succeed regardless of disguise because everyone around him will forget everything. Otherwise, how does Sailor Moon keep her disguise?

#63 - Cool Hair Factor
The hair of a hero will always coalesce into thick strands that drape his face in a dramatic fashion, regardless of wind, the elements, etc.

#64 - Law of inverse coping
Any single event will happen to the ONE character LEAST capable of dealing with it.

#65 - Law of Love
Anime follows very distinct rules of love.

a) The anime characters that fall in love usually must hate each other first.
b) The guy is usually too stubborn to admit his love so the woman is usually the first to admit her love.
c) The characters find out that they love eachother 2 seconds too late.

#66 - The law of Necromatic power increase
The hero will invariably not have the power to defeat the enemy in the first battle and thus will succumb to a seeming death. From this death the hero will recieve insight and an exponential increase in power that will make him far stronger than the enemy. This will invariably be surpassed by the next enemy.

#67 - The Law of Amendment to the “Five man team”.
If the team is made totally of one sex.

  1. The leader (usually doesn’t think themself worthy)
  2. The fighter (usually there to defend someone)
  3. The intellectual (usually something about them surprises everyone at every turn and can make anything)
  4. The good looking one
  5. The leader’s rival (usually best friend of the leader who constantly points out their inadequacies)
  6. The mentor (usually has a vast store of knowledge about the enemies minions, even when the minion was just created five seconds ago)

#68 - The Law of Handicap
When a “Good Guy” is outnumbered by a large group of “Bad Guys,” the “Good Guy’s” strength will increase as needed to quickly defeat the “Bad Guys.” However, when a number of “Good Guys” overwhelm the number of “Bad Guys,” the “Good Guys’” power will decrease, thus giving the “Bad Guys” a chance to win and prolonging the battle until the hero shows up.

#69 - The Law of Magnification of Energy
A martial arts anime that involves characters controlling ki enrgy, either Good Guys or Bad Guys can spend up to a wole episode charging up, and the God/Bad Guy will just sttand there and watch without doing anyhing to stop him.

The Law of Ki Blasts
The time it takes a character to learn an atack is inversly proportional to its power The Law of Ki Blasts, 1st Corolary
The size of a blast is directly proportional to the time it taes to perform it.

#70 - The Law of Dramatic Staredowns
Anytime the hero is entering a major fight with the villian, they will stare at each oher for at least two episodes.

#71 - The Law of Exponential Damage Attraction Increase (SSFSX17)
Big bulky guys are exponentially more likely to be harmed for the sake of the girl or for the sake of the greater cause than anyone else

#72 - The Law of Exponential Pain Attraction Increase (SSFSX17)
The smaller, cuter, or younger that a boy or a girl is in a moody and deep Anime, the more troubles and problems that will befall that youth.

#73 - The Law of Inverse Wound Remnantal Discharge
Any lethal wound, be it from bullet or blade, will cause bits of flesh and fabric to fly in slow motion from the wound, the total amount of discharge being determined by the potential cleanliness of the wound.

#74 - The Law of Demonic Sanguinal Expulsion
Upon the death of some huge demonic creature, large amounts of blood and gore spew from both the wound and the mouth, covering any nearby surfaces, people, etc… in this (refer to Law of Hemoglobin Capacity).
First Corollary (Post-Defeat Revenge Factor) -
Three times out of five, coming in contact with cause either one of three things to happen:

a) Instant death is caused (possibly due to the chemical composition of the demonic blood)
b) Absolutely nothing (This often occurs near the end of a series or movie, when the Hero kills the supreme and hellish uber-Demon)
c) The demon blood causes an instantaneous mutation in the bodily form of its killer, thought to be caused by the supreme concentration of ‘evilness’ in this blood. (This is most notable in the beginning of a series/movie, or near the middle, when a previous hero slays a powerful demon and becomes one himself, or a friend of the hero slays the demon. This also can be used as a plot device to bring about a sequel.)

#75 - Law of Nonrepercussive damage (also known as “the physics of a headbutt”)
Any damage dealt by a fighter-type character will not adversely affect him or his equipment (i.e., the character in question will be able to cut through stone or steel without damaging his sword, be able to punch through solid walls without injuring his knuckles, wrist or arm, and be able to administer several headbutts in quick succession with no ill effects, the latter of which being known as the “Kibagami Jubei Effect”).

#76 - The Law of Universal Linguistics (Brandy Fuller)
No matter where anyone is they always speak the same language as the native people.

Yep, that’s insanely long, all right. I was kinda hoping for some “dead giveaways” though, instead of laws of physics.

SEVENTY-SIX rules on ANIME! DAMN THAT’S A LOT! And all of them are pretty much accurate, since I coul name examples of several of them!

Anime cliche - any jewel, especially in pendants, that is noticed or talked about by any of the characters will always contain some sort of power, from minor to deus ex machina.

Originally posted by Moon Beam Girl
Anime cliche - any jewel, especially in pendants, that is noticed or talked about by any of the characters will always contain some sort of power, from minor to deus ex machina.

Which also applies to most RPGs.