For storytelling reasons heroes often have sidekicks. Sure, right? A sidekick can do a lot of things, like be comic relief, or have some skill that the hero lacks (think brawny heroes with brainy sidekicks), or just be someone the hero can talk to. Those things can fill out a narrative nicely. So you end […]
Read more "Oh, So Trope-ical: The Big Brother"
“The System,” some kind of deeply hidden procedure or agency, makes a great antagonist. Tell you why in a sec. You see “The System” in a lot of places. Off the top of my head I can think of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Puella Magi Madoka Magika, and Wonder Egg Priority, and if I’ve got three […]
Read more "The Antagonist: The System"
All right, you know who Marin Kitagawa is. She’s – depending on how you look at it – the Dress-up Darling of My Dress-up Darling. You can fight me on that one, if you want and you think about it. Wakana, the boy she’s sweet on in this rom-com, makes her cosplay costumes. So he […]
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There are some anime you watch – I’m looking at YOU What Are You Doing Here Teacher – where you watch it and all you take away from it is this: I’m not sure this is properly described as a trope since it’s really a gag so cheap that writers just can’t stop themselves from […]
Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The “Nice To Meet You, Ms. Ayanami”"
The essence of The Chosen One trope is that there is someone out there in the universe who has been Marked by Fate (or the Gods, or whomever) to be the Winner/Savior/Liberator/Whatever. Oh, and at the start of the story, they don’t know it. Sure, you know this character: How about Aang? Or Afro Samurai? […]
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As a writer I love tropes. Tropes are tropes because they work in telling good stories. Sure. Take the “Hero-Sidekick-Girlfriend” trio, right? You can use that interrelationship to create tension in lots of ways, especially if Sidekick and Girlfriend don’t get along. The two of them squabble between themselves and can be used to force […]
Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The Pre-pubescent Horndog"
I’m a writer so I can say this: There are a lot of gimmicks writers use to keep the story moving. For instance, the great crime writer Raymond Chandler said, “When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” Sure. Why not? I wrote a whole story with […]
Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The Convenient Stomach Rumble"
In a lot of ways romance animes are some of the dumbest on the air. I mean, seriously? You have Person A and Person B and everyone knows they will be in luv L-U-V by the end of the show and you have to make TWELVE FRICKIN’ EPISODES out of that. More if the audience […]
Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The He-Can’t-Love-Me Woman"
I started out wanting to do a character analysis of Rea Sanka, the main female character (and namesake) of Sankarea, Undying Love, but I ran into a little problem. Y’see, when you take a close look at Rea, there’s not a whole lot of there there. I mean, she’s pretty, yeah, and she’s sort of […]
Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The Family Princess"
I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at a trio of characters and seen them forming a classic Mind-Body-Soul trio. Sure. How about Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles, right? One thing about those roles is that two of them are stereotypically male and the other stereotypically female. Is that morally right? Heck, no. But tropes […]
Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The Soul Girl"