Shounen anime cliches are timeless. Because even though they can get:
- Irritating sometimes.
They’re still priceless, and when used the right way,
There’s nothing like watching a
So with that said: let’s get into the most noticeable cliches in anime history. For the Shounen genre.
Shounen Anime Cliches:
1. Screaming out the name of your attack
It’s usually a loooong scream or shout as well. Goku’s famous “Kamehameha” is a
Anime like Akame Ga Kill are on the “subtle” side when it comes to how dramatic it is (unlike
2. The main protagonist starting out WEAK
He’s weak, fragile, and even cowardly in the early stages of
3. The main protagonist has a secret hidden ability or talent
anime I can think of that doesn’t follow this traditional Shounen cliche. Almost all
Naruto Uzumaki is an obvious example (that’s why I used the picture). And he’s not the only example out there in the world of Shounen.
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
anime that strays from this cliche, slightly.
4. The main protagonists eating a lot of food
Goku, Monkey D Luffy, Naruto Uzumaki, Tatsumi… the list goes on and on.
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
In the anime: Twin Star Exorcist, Rokuro is saved by some mysterious BS after having his stomach cut open (he should have died). Or something to that effect.
This is a cliche you tend to see in
Sometimes it’s “the power of friendship” as well that saves the day (Fairy Tail).
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 (Akame Ga Kill) it’s Mine, Leone and Akame in different ways.
In Naruto it’s Hinata, etc. We’ll always see this cliche play itself out in different ways for years to come.
7. The protagonist never truly dies
Especially when it comes to the MAIN Z fighters.
There’s only one anime I can think of where that doesn’t happen, but I won’t mention it to avoid spoilers.
8. The protagonist is cheerful or hot tempered to a degree
- Monkey D Luffy
- Naruto Uzumaki
- Ichigo Kurosaki
Not as bad as other cliches, but it’s definitely a thing in
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 Naruto Uzumaki’s sad childhood. The same is true for many protagonists (Ichigo Kurosaki).
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
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
11. The protagonist or antagonist revealing their “trump card”
Captain Aizen in
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.