Why “Wish Fulfilment” Is A Popular Anime Trope That People Love

What is wish fulfilment in anime?

Simple. It’s the types of:

  • Anime.
  • Tropes.
  • And characters.

That encourages wishful thinking with their picture-perfect lifestyles or circumstances.

Harem is a good example of this since it encourages wishful thinking.

Let’s talk about WHY it’s popular and why fans love it.


Why fans love wish fulfilment in anime:


1. Being reborn into another world

The famous Isekai is a result of this thinking. Though it does go back to the 1990s with anime like Magic Knight Rayearth and Inuyasha, both of which have a “spin” of this trope.

As well as the anime .Hack but in a different context (2000s anime).

After No Game No Life and SAO made the so called genre famous, Re:Zero and other anime added a sense of wish fulfillment with the whole “being reborn into another world” cliche that’s successful even in 2023.


2. Idealistic lifestyle

Anime characters are unrealistic by design. Nothing about them is normal. Well, that’s an exaggeration but the point is they have idealistic lifestyles that wouldn’t be achievable in real life.

Take the anime character Touma in the anime: A Certain Magical Index. Even though he’s a normal guy, he has abnormal circumstances and attracts the hottest of women of all kinds.

Then you have more deliberate characters like Rimuru Tempest who after being reborn (Isekai) has the ability to absorb almost anything with his slime powers, giving him immense power later on.

This of course leads to women fawning over him serving him, etc, which he couldn’t have dreamed of having in his past life as a human.

Wish Fulfillment is strong when an anime depicts its characters with an overly idealistic lifestyle, despite those characters being normal or not.

Relevant: 16+ Anime Characters Who Wear Hoodies!


3. Being surrounded by a harem of girls


This trope will never get old, and it plays into the wish fulfilment and also the reason harem is popular.

The anime Monster Musume is a classic harem series. You have a regular guy, and you have monster girls who are snakes (no pun intended), and all kinds of creatures but with sex appeal.

He’s essentially surrounded by a harem of hot girls.

This is true for Shido in the anime Date A Live, Issei from DxD, Masamune Makabe from Masamune Kun No Revenge, and other characters like Fuutarou Uesugifrom Quintessential Quintuplets.

It’s wish-fulfilment content on steroids.


4. Being able to wash away all your problems (temporarily)

Anime has come to the point where an anime character can be featured in an Isekai, and plan on killing himself with the help of “truck kun” so they can wash all of their life’s problems away.

They are then reborn into a new world, with new powers, a new family, new authority, and an unfair advantage when it comes to their new talents, abilities, and sheer luck.

Life is so good they can forget about their old one.

On the other hand of why this plays into wish fulfillment, anime is an escape mechanism for some people to cope, and it helps you “wash away” all your problems for the moment as you watch it.


5. Stirs the imagination

This leads from the last point.

Anime as an escape mechanism is perfect because it stirs the imagination, helps you think about things that aren’t possible in real life, and makes your mind go crazy for a lack of a better word.

Anime is full of so many scenarios, plots, tropes, cliches, and more that are so ideal and creative, that it only makes sense why the “imagination” part works as a sort of wish fulfillment.


6. You can get creative with what you want


Anime has so many topics, ideas, and pieces of content that you can picture a type of series, and find an equivalent for it in a lot of cases.

You can’t do that with films or realistic content because it’s limited by the fact it’s realistic. Anime doesn’t suffer from that problem.

By being able to seek out what you want, you can dive into any guilty pleasure you want and stroke your wish fulfilment ideals all at once.


7. The fact it’s unrealistic and unattainable


Whenever something is unrealistic or just unattainable, it becomes interesting, curious, wanted, and desired. Like a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, an Aston Martin, or a supercar in the price range of £1M.

So many people want it, but getting it is the harder part. This is similar to anime and its unattainable features or unrealistic elements.

Imagine having this in real life? That’s exactly the point. This is why it checks the box of wish fulfilment.

It gets your imagination going.


8. Perfect image of the opposite sex

There’s a big difference between girls in real life vs, well, girls in anime. And there’s a difference between male vs anime male characters.

Anime characters, unlike real people, don’t have to stress about:

  • Acne.
  • Skin issues.
  • Inflammation.
  • Spots.
  • Bumps.
  • White or blackheads.
  • Defects.

And all the other sources of insecurities, flaws, or impurities we have in the real world.

This is what makes anime girls so attractive, male anime characters more appealing to female fans, and so on.


9. Average problems are no longer a thing


An anime character can deal with average problems, no doubt if the author intends it. There are so many realistic anime characters and there’s no doubting this.

But when anime doesn’t stick to realism or pain the picture of it, an average anime character doesn’t have to deal with normal problems anymore.

This is obviously appealing to the right or wrong person if you look at it this way, or just outright appealing because it highlights something that’s seemingly unattainable.


10. The story has a happy ending

Not all stories have a happy ending, but some stories should have a SAD or tragic ending. Many writers and anime creators are scared of doing the latter with anime endings.

Still, anime like Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song shows that there can be a happy ending, and anime fans love it. Same with anime shows of a similar nature.

When an anime ends up with a happy ending despite the odds and the plot, they’re appealing to wish fulfilment to the fullest. This is why I personally like Akame Ga Kill over other anime for its realistic, depressing ending.

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