What makes an anime character cliche, anyway?
We can both agree on one answer: when a character is too predictable and corny.
Whether it’s the damsel in distress, or the naive character who all the girls are tripping over.
We all know a cliche when we see it. It’s too easy to notice.
Of all the anime’s I’ve watched, there are 7 anime characters who tend to break conventions and rules. MOST of the time at the very least.
So let’s talk about that…
7 Of The Least Cliche Anime Characters:
1. Tomoko Kuroki
Why Tomoko Kuroki? The reasons are simple:
- She’s not the “hottest” looking anime girl/main character.
- She fails miserably at most of what she does.
- She’s lacking in confidence, and that doesn’t change much.
- She’s UNPOPULAR.
- She’s eccentric.
- She’s a weird, quiet introvert and a terrible communicator.
In the anime: Watamote, Tomoko’s so bad at socializing it makes you want to throw up your guts.
And it’s hard to watch this teenager struggle with her anxiety and confidence issues.
The truth is: the “average” female anime character HAS IT ALL.
They’re cute, kawaii, sexy, hot, popular, and attractive in some way or another.
Not Tomoko Kuroki though, making her one of the least cliche characters ever created.
2. Shinichi Chiaki
In most romance anime’s, male characters are “sweet” “innocent” “nice” and things along those lines.
Shinichi Chiaki is different.
In cliche situations like giving an umbrella to a girl because it’s raining, this guy walks off and doesn’t bother.
You might think he’s an “asshole” because of this, but in reality he’s just doing what he wants to do.
Which doesn’t make him wrong for doing something we expect people to do.
Shinichi breaks almost all conventions when it comes to cliche’s. And that’s why It would be criminal of me to NOT include him in this list.
Anime Series: Nodame Cantabile
3. Sucy Manabavaran
Anime girls these days are designed to be cute, funny, charming, Moe, Kawaii and all that stuff.
But not Sucy.
If she doesn’t care about something then she’ll say so, rather than “being nice” to stay on your safe side.
She doesn’t go out of her way to “act noble and cute because it looks good” either.
And by design, there’s no character similar to her. I mean seriously look at her picture above.
How many anime characters who are women look similar? You’ll struggle to think off the top of your head.
And that’s what makes Sucy one of the least cliche main characters around.
Anime Series: Little Witch Academia
4. Lelouch Lamperouge
The cliche with main characters who “save the world” is to be noble saints and protect the innocent.
But not Lelouch Lamperouge.
This guy does whatever it takes to reach his goals and save the world. Meaning innocent people die along the way.
Sometimes it’s not even Lelouch’s fault. And other times it is, and he’s aware of his actions.
While the easy perspective to have of Lelouch is “what an asshole, he’s heartless”, that’s exactly why he’s not cliche.
Not many people (or characters) are designed to take on such a burden.
And that’s what makes Lelouch one of the least cliche, and yet relatable characters in anime.
Female anime characters who are designed like Shirayuki turn out one way: Damsels in distress.
They look pretty, have nice personalities, and always need rescuing.
And for characters who aren’t damsels in distress, they’re designed to be more masculine and independent.
Like Erza Scarlet (though I hate to admit it).
Shirayuki is different.
She’s independent, responsible, hard-working, has a pleasant attitude… And yet she’s far from the “damsel in distress” cliche you’d expect to see.
While she may be nice, she doesn’t tolerate BS and disrespect. And hardly needs a “guy” to step in and speak up for her.
And this is despite being a feminine character with a fem
inine charm. Without the “masculine strong female” cliche we tend to see in anime.
6. Glenn Radars
In most magic/fantasy anime shows, the main protagonist is insanely strong and powerful.
If that’s not true, then they’re a “hero in training” who eventually becomes overpowered.
Or worse: they have an insane advantage over their enemies no matter the difference in strength.
Glenn Radars is different.
As a main protagonist he’s not even the strongest character. And even needs help from time to time.
This makes it more realistic to watch and relatable, as he has flaws.
And his unconventional personality makes Glenn Radars one of the least cliche guys around.
Neptune by design is nothing like any anime character. You’ll struggle to find an exact copy or look-alike.
And that’s not all: Neptune is from the parody show: Hyperdimension Neptunia.
Which is to say: a lot of her lines are insults towards other anime shows, tropes and cliche’s.
Add that to her eccentric personality, and it’s easy to see why Neptune is one of the least cliche characters.
And that’s why I love her as an anime character.
Which anime character do you know of with the least cliches?