18 Cliches Only Anime Fans Will Understand

Every anime fan knows that there are tropes that can be found in almost every series, but which are the ones that we see the most? Here is Ranker's list of the most blatant anime cliches. These funny anime cliches transcend genres and demographics, as they can be found in just about every series that's out there. Anime fans will also enjoy these monthly anime subscription boxes and anime loot crates.

Admittedly some of these tropes can be found in plenty of fictional works that aren't necessarily anime, but the idea here was to include only cliches that anime fans will really understand. We invest so much of our time watching these series, and understanding these inside jokes is our reward! If you have an obvious anime cliche that is missing from the list, let us know in the comments and we might just add it! 

Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License

  • 1

    The More You Glow, The Stronger You Are

    This is a simple rule of anime that cannot be disputed. The more you are glowing, the stronger you are. Have you ever seen Krillin glow? Didn't think so.
  • 2

    The Overpowering Sound of Cicadas

    The Overpowering Sound of Cicadas
    Video: YouTube
    What's the best way an anime can let you know it's supposed to be summer time? If you answered, "add extremely loud cicada noises that loop over and over again," then you are absolutely correct! Every anime veteran has recognized this trope in at least one series they've watched, and it's become somewhat of a joke within the anime community. 
  • 3

    Hero Always Has Enourmous Appetite

    Hero Always Has Enourmous Appetite
    Video: YouTube
    What is it about anime characters and their insatiable appetites? The two names that come to mind are Goku and Luffy, but it certainly doesn't stop there. Remember that episode of Samurai Champloo, when Fuu gorged herself during an eating contest? The sad part is that she accidentally threw in the towel and didn't even end up winning. For whatever reason overeating in anime is a staple in almost every series, but who can blame the characters? The food always looks so damn good.
  • 4

    The Bad Guys That Turn Good

    Ah yes, the character that for the first 50 or so episodes is extremely evil, but eventually switches over and becomes a good guy. To be fair this usually only happens in Shonen Jump series, where characters like Vegeta (DBZ), Renji (Bleach), Gaara (Naruto), and Franky & Nico Robin (One Piece) all eventually made the switch from foe to friend. If you're starting a long series and there is a bad guy that you wish was good, don't worry! Chances are they'll probably end up on the winning team eventually.
  • 5

    Yelling The Name Of Your Special Attack As You Do It

    Yelling The Name Of Your Special Attack As You Do It
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    One does not simply do their special move without yelling the name of it. That is pretty much the #1 golden rule of anime. Whether it's "Kamehameha," "Final Flash," "Rasengan," "Sharingan," "Gum Gum Pistol," or anything else, it's an unwritten law that a character must shout the name of their attack before they actually use it. Does it make it 10x more obvious that the attack is coming? Yes. Does it ever actually matter? No, no it does not.
  • 6

    Thinking The Enemy Is Dead When They Clearly Aren't

    Thinking The Enemy Is Dead When They Clearly Aren't
    Photo: One Piece / Toei

    This is probably one of the most notorious cliches on this list, purely in terms of how often it happens it anime. Here's how it always, ALWAYS goes down:

    1. Good guy delivers "final blow" to enemy
    2. One of his companions says, "you did it!"
    3. The enemy reveals they aren't hurt at all

    I can pretty much guarantee you that if you ever hear a character say "Alright, you did it!" that the bad guy is 100%, without a doubt, not dead.