- Irritating sometimes.
They’re still priceless, and when used the right way, shounen cliches make the “
There’s nothing like watching a shounen with that “familiar” feeling, after all. That’s what gets you hooked in the first place.
So with that said: let’s get into the most noticeable cliches in
1. Screaming out the name of your attack
It’s usually a loooong scream or shout as well. Goku’s famous “Kamehameha” is a classic example, and probably the MAIN reason why this cliche is so prominent in 2019.
It’s the Shounen
2. The main protagonist starting out WEAK
In typical shounen fashion, the main protagonist always starts out weak, pathetic and hopeless. Izuku Midoriya is one of the greatest examples of this.
He’s weak, fragile, and even cowardly in the early stages of
In true Shounen fashion, Deku comes across a type of mentor, someone who “inspires” him, and that’s the catalyst for his growth in strength and as a person.
It’s a classic cliche that will never die.
3. The main protagonist has a secret hidden ability or talent
Even Goku to some extent can be considered “already talented with a hidden ability” because he’s a Saiyan. The original dragon ball doesn’t highlight that until
4. The main protagonists eating a lot of food
Goku, Monkey D Luffy,
This cliche will never die.
It’s one of those cliches that will stick around without ruining the experience.
5. Characters being saved by some mysterious power
In the original Broly movie from
This is a cliche you tend to see in Shounen a lot.
Sometimes it’s “the power of friendship” as well that saves the day (
6. That one girl that supports the protagonist
This might not be as common as the others but it’s still there.
For Goku it’s Bulma in the early days. Later on it becomes Chi Chi in a romantic way.
For Yuichiro (Owari No Seraph) it’s Shinoa Hiiragi.
For Tatsumi (
7. The protagonist never truly dies
Especially when it comes to the MAIN Z fighters.
In other Shounen
There’s only one
8. The protagonist is cheerful or hot tempered to a degree
- Monkey D Luffy
- Ichigo Kurosaki
Not as bad as other cliches, but it’s definitely a thing in Shounen
Sometimes the female characters who travel alongside the protagonist have “cheerful” personalities, too.
9. The one girl who’s able to “beat up” the protagonist for comic relief
Sometimes the protagonist is so insanely strong, that in reality the “weaker” character wouldn’t be able to touch them in a fight.
But for comedic reasons, sometimes the weaker female character can land a strong hit on the protagonist, and “wound” them.
But it’s all for sh*ts and giggles. So we won’t be seeing this cliche disappear anytime soon.
10. A tragic childhood
We all about
Akame is on the more depressing, heart-breaking end of the stick compared to most Shounen protagonists… But the cliche is still there across so many Shounen that it’s impossible to deny.
After all – that’s the catalyst that gives the protagonist strength and courage to make something of themselves.
It makes the “struggle” more relatable and inspirational.
11. The protagonist or antagonist revealing their “trump card”
Captain Aizen in Bleach is ONE example of a villain who “reveals” their power. It’s a running joke at this point.
This cliche highlights the fact that “arrogance” gets to people’s heads too easily. Especially when the antagonist has so much power and influence in the storyline.
And that’s why they end up losing when all is said and done.