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Post Reply Anti-Trope Anime
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30 / M / Key West, Florida...
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Posted 3/31/15
I love anime but sometimes I get kind of disheartened trying to find something new and interesting to watch. Part of the reason for this is I get turned off by some shows who use a lot of tropes or cliches. Not everyone will agree on what constitutes a trope but I was wondering if maybe you guys had some ideas on shows that veer off the beaten path a bit.

For instance: It seems like a LOT of anime is about average middle/high school kids. I would kill for more stories about ADULTS.

Protagonists usually have either a special power (magic, tech, or otherwise) or access to someone else who does. I find myself more interested in unpowered people though. They don't have the crutch of being characterized by their power and so have a bit more depth to them (hopefully).

More complex female characters would be nice. I kinda cringe every time I see a female character throwing themselves at the male lead for no discernable reason.

So if you guys have any shows that you'd like to recommend that sort of "break the mold" I'd love to hear about it.

Ps. Bonus points for anybody who recommends a show that stars an adult, female, non-superpowered character.
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21 / M / Utopia
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Posted 3/31/15 , edited 3/31/15
I totally agree man, I would definitely watch the unique shows. One of the ones I can think of is Mushi-shi, it's very unique and the main character has no special powers (this depends on how you view his ability tho) or does OP stuff. You should also check out Usagi Drop and Space Brothers, these are very good.

I'm starting to get pissed myself at all these tsundere female characters, they are displaying way too much tsun tsun and not enough dere, how do you expect to find love if you are unapproachable lol.
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21 / M
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Posted 3/31/15
Try Inferno Cop. Pretty sure its not very tropey at all.
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23 / M / My bed in my room
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Posted 3/31/15
Try Genshiken. An anime about a college otaku circle(club). Slice of life + lots of anime/manga/ game/ otaku culture references.

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(´◔౪◔)✂❤
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Posted 3/31/15
Something like psycho pass? I really enjoyed that anime. I also enjoy coming-of-age stories, so I don't really mind have teenagers or children in anime. I think it would be great if authors incorporate less archetypes in their stories.
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22 / F / Washington
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Posted 3/31/15 , edited 3/31/15
Usagi drop is different. I also enjoyed Yona of the Dawn a lot! Lots of great action, comedy and character development among Yona. It is technically a reverse harem but it's not like everyone is in love with her. Also try Moribito (forgot the whole name) it's about a 30 year old female spear wielder who protects a young prince from the king who is trying to kill him. That's pretty good.

I agree that these tropes are SUPER annoying. I want characters with substance who are not predictable. I find myself watching less and less anime because of it.
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Posted 3/31/15
Death Note, Monster, Cedi
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22 / M
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Posted 3/31/15
Old anime movies tend to not use common tropes, such Patlabor,Kite, Jin Ro, The Tomb of the Fireflies, in the other hand you have Seinen stuff like Jormungand and Black Lagoon , Monster, Karas ect.
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24 / F / Johnstown, PA, USA
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Posted 3/31/15
Only problem is that, for those who've checked out TVtropes, we find that, apparently, just about everything under the sun can be classified under some trope.
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24 / M
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Posted 3/31/15
Welcome to the NHK is worth a look. Ain't nobody with powers in it and it is decidedly...odd. I think they're all adults too.
Majority of Spice and wolf doesn't fit the mould either. Or possibly I'm just remembering my favourite parts. its mostly about a chap doing trade deals.
Black lagoon is fairly good and doesn't quite fit your tropes. South sea pirates.
In fact I think the only part it falls down on is on a personal view of where Revy falls. Adult- yes. superpowers- no (ish, her gun skill is probably unfeasible) Is she a complex character- I would argue yes.

It all depends on personal taste


aeb0717 wrote:

Only problem is that, for those who've checked out TVtropes, we find that, apparently, just about everything under the sun can be classified under some trope.


This is correct. Wiki defines tropes as "A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works"

I believe OP is in fact referring specifically to Cliches. That is Overused story structures. but this is subjective in itself
Story structures become overused usually because they sell well or because authors like them.
Posted 3/31/15
Mushi-shi is a good anime
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22 / M / Hongdae
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Posted 3/31/15
I think Soul Eater Not was pretty good. From the same author of Soul Eater going at things from a different perspective. Some of the same characters, but very different story and set slightly in the past.

Fate/Stay Night was great, also Fate/Zero. Both have powers, but the characters have very unique and interesting backgrounds. And definitely an anime for adults.

An interesting one I watched was called: 'Say, I love you' Its a highschool anime, but very different from what you'd expect. Its not very happy or cheerful, at least at first. As things progress in the story it becomes more joyful in a soft way.

Eden of the East


Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari

Both good also.
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31 / M
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Posted 3/31/15
Let's see.. what hasn't been mentioned yet...

Probably the most unusual work I can recall offhand is Emma. A romance manga/anime set in 19th century England? Oh, the main protagonist is a maid? Now it makes sense. Still, it wasn't bad.. for a mushy romance novel. If I remember right it does take some liberties with historical accuracy, but no aliens show up, and some days that feels like that's the most you could ask of a mangaka. That should count as an "adult, female, non-superpowered" character.

Since scifi is often the worst offender in terms of clichés and overpowered protagonists, I tried to think of a few standouts of that genre:

08th MS Team is easily my favorite Gundam series. The protagonist (while a bit of an idealist) has no special powers, is not the greatest pilot, doesn't have a unique or overpowered mobile suit, etc. Case in point, when his team engage an enemy ace pilot in combat they end up losing. Rather decisively.

Crest of the Stars is an odd duck. It's also certainly guilty of using some cliches, including teenaged protagonists, however it's unusual in that the majority of the plot developments consist of events totally outside their control. So, much of the story feels like they're trying to keep afloat in a raft caught up in a storm. You know, kind of like actual teenagers would be if a war broke out.
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26 / M / Definitely not EU
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Posted 3/31/15
Clannad.
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M / Baka Zone
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Posted 3/31/15 , edited 3/31/15
Ghost in the Shell.
Amazing female protag, and so many philosophical elements. You should also check out Stand Alone Complex after you've seen the movie.
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