I like watching anime and I’ve seen quite a few since the last two years. I now even know some Japanese words other than “aligoto”,”katana” and “Sayonara” (hope I got the spelling somewhat right).
But I’ve also started to notice some stereotypes; in most anime you are likely to find a clueless boy, some very cute girl,… the rest is below.
The cute Japanese girl:
- large twinkling eyes – they have large shiny eyes (u could lose yourself in there – they are so vast). Just look at Rukia’s eyes in Bleach!
- big boobs – in most if not all the anime (and I do not mean hentai here), there’s bound to be at least one girl having rather big boobs (Inoue and a Matsumoto in Bleach, Tsunade in Naruto, Seras Victoria in Hellsing, …)
- wearing mini-skirt / school uniform – this seems to be a Japanese fantasy I guess. Many anime characters will be wearing short skirts all the time (e.g. Seras Victoria in Hellsing, the girls doing sports in High school, Faye Valentine in Cowboy Bebop,… )
The nice Japanese woman:
- character – most of the women are shy and very reserved, they even tend to have a motherly appearance (landlady in chobits)
- very feminine voice – the voices are very soft and gentle,even too much at times
- dressing – compared to the teenage girl who seem to be always wearing mini-skirts, the Japanese woman is always very “properly” dressed in long skirts (Koaru in Kenshin)
- cluless – he’s very of going to be clueless about girls, it seems that this is the first time that he has met one and he rarely notices the girl who is absolutely mad about him (Gundam, Love Hina,…)
- hair colour – very often, the colour of the hair is going to be orange rather than the traditional black Japanese hair. (Naruto, Ichigo, Kenshin, The fullmetal alchemist,…)
- the fighter : “fighting and never give up” – this is the same for Naruto and Ichigo; compared to other who use very flashy and elaborate fighting techinque, these two rely mostly on their perseverance and in the end they succeed. It’s very often like an ode to hard work. Same applies to Gatsu in Berserk. Inuyasha is not too far from that too; he’s a hanyou and compared to his brother, u’d think he’d lose but no. Perseverance gets him where he wants.
- the super cool guy – some characters seem to have a super human abilities and are always calm (or super aloof) under any circumstances. They just seem to regard all the others with a degree of “disdain”. Byakuka in Bleach is the classical exaxmple; even his technique is super classy – cherry blossoms.
- the Ugly duckling syndrome – have u noticed, a lot of the heroes have a “sad” background? Naruto is an orphan who was always alone as a kid, Yoh of Shaman King has had no friends before Manta,… – this is the classical orphan tale who was all alone as a kid and who was always looked down upon but later grows up to be a hero. However, his past is still following him and whever this is brought back u’d want to cry on hearing their story!
- the pervert (thanks al) – indeed perverts seem to be quite common in Anime. Usually it’s not like they are perverts and that’s all; they are skilled (usually very skilled) but they have one major weakness – women and they will do all sorts of stupid yet hilarious things to reach their ends. Some classical examples are: Nicky Larson (who gets his trademark hit on the head by his secretary Laura), Jiraiya from Naruto – one of the strongest ninja who writes adult books in his spare time and even Miroku in Inuyasha – he can’t resist putting his hand on Sango’s …
- the sidekicks (thx Ironfist) – they are those who you can’t even remember their name and thier only role seems to be make us laugh or take a beating. In bleach, there’s Ichigo’s classmate and some vice-captains, in Gundam – the robots that are just there to take a beating and show how other gundams are superior,…
Also they all have large eyes – this is rather strange I think coz Japanese (and asians in general) usually have slanted eyes (no offense meant, it’s just how the eyes are) and all the characters have large big circular eyes that are shiny.
For all mentionned above, I mostky do not have any idea why this is so. Perhaps someone from Japan or someone who knows more about anime can shed some light on this.