Anime stereotypes (updated again!!!)

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, …)

matsumotosmall.jpg hellsmall.jpg

  • 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)


The guy:

  • 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.

bleach.jpg naruto.jpg

  • 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.


29 responses to “Anime stereotypes (updated again!!!)

  1. LOL ca zome pawan!!!!:) enfin well u forgot the monsters? usual sidekick that are always loyal no matter what (most prominent in Saint Seiya), the robots that gots unlimited ammo and zillion guns ala GUNDAM:), and of course the anti-hero like Gatso from berserk and Armande from HEllsing!

    c it’s useful for me and pawan to add stuff sometimes!!!!

  2. hehe very nice blog..

    i’ve learn some japanese words too.. aligato.. and also bakaa πŸ™‚

    currently watching “shaman King” and “one piece” and full metal

    Inuyasha and “prince of tennis” are being downloaded πŸ˜›

  3. there’s also the pervert hero stereotype..(City Hunter,GTO,the old pervert in Ranma1/2,master roshin(tortue genial) in Dbz,Jiraiya in Naruto and lots more….)

  4. Very interesting suggestion al – there seems to be a lot of “perverts” in manga; interesting character trait.
    I think I need to update this post in the light of suggestions from al and Ironfist.

  5. 2 pics out of 8 r about big boobs ! So if people want to selectively focus on the boobs, I can’t do anything but that will only betray their own preferences not mine hehehe πŸ™‚

  6. “Q: What’s with the huge eyes?

    A: No, it’s not some kind of Asian inferiority complex, and actually, not quite all Anime has the big eye style. But, most of it does, and the fact of the matter is that no one is 100% sure why. However, the first person to use that style is usually credited as Tezuka Osamu, the creator of the old Astro Boy TV series among various other very popular TV shows that became the foundation for Japan’s entire animation and comic industry. As to where Tezuka got the idea, Fred Ladd, who worked with him, has said (as in this Akadot interview) that he said he was emulating Betty Boop, who was popular in Japan at the time. Other early US-produced animated characters that predate the anime style also have very large eyes (if you look, Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse have huge eyes).

    The eyes also no doubt relate to the simple fact that humans find big eyes cute (small children have proportionally bigger eyes, compared to adults). In any case, the animated TV series created by Tezuka were very popular, and the style stuck. It has been altered and adapted over the ages, but the eyes have remained roughly the same. I’ve also heard another reason for the size of the eyes summed up by the old expression “eyes are windows to the soul.” The Japanese (and by extrapolation Japanese Animation) are very interested in emotion, and what better way to express emotion than through… well, really huge eyes.”


  7. yeah agree with the the ugly duckling syndrome thing… actually it’s not just anime… most heroes,e.g. in comics, have sad backgrounds like Batman(parents getting killed when he was a child), spiderman(his grandpa getting killed because of him) and Wolverine in xmen(he was kinda an experimental subject).

  8. Also they all have large eyes – this is rather strange I think coz Japanese have small eyes (I don’t mean anything bad by this but this is just quoting a fact) and all the characters have large big eyes that are shiny.

    what a coincidence.. i actually was puzzled about that today and asked my lil bro.. why does everyone in kenshin have big eyes..(minus saito hajimE.. leader of the 3rd squad if the shinsengumi.. master of gatotzu (btw.. did you know that this character existed for real?))

    The answer that we both deduced was… since the eyes of japanese is a bit larger than that of the chinese… they decided to make it look bigger in animes.. just to say “we have bigger eyes”.

    • That is the most illogical thing I’ve ever read. firstly what does the Chinese have to do with anime styled srawing and if what yoy said were true, then American people would draw huge eye for their marvel comics just because they have ‘larger’ eyes than most Asians?

  9. I believe the big-eyes phenomena is here to increase the kawainess of anime characters, specially girls. In some animes, you got characters with huuuugggeee eyes (like in Amaenaideyo). In others, the characters’ eyes are so small that they look closed (like Bleach’s Gin or Kenshin’s Saito).

    The eyes are particularly emotive. A large eye can symbolize happiness or cuteness. A thin eye can signify cruelty or firmness. Other characters have normal looking eyes (like Ichigo?). It’s just based on the artist’s personal taste and sometimes on the characters’ personality.

    Nevertheless, if there was one thing to say, ANIME RULZ! πŸ˜€

    (Plz plz plz! Grant me Memories of Nobody soon!)

  10. Awesome post. I see you are an anime freak. I like anime with a sense of humour and which is related to fantasy.
    My favourites are:
    Ouran Host Club, Midori No Hibi, Full Metal Alchemist (did not like the movie @ all), GTO, Piacarot, and some others I do not remember.
    It has been a while since I had seen an anime. I watched a few episodes of Bleach and I liked it. I absolutely hate the childish and annoying Naruto. I want romance, humour, some action without too gore, special effects, maturity at some scenes and cute anime girls which make me want to go to China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand to get my dates.

  11. hmm, how about things that tackles religion, odd that there’s a lot of animu that tackles something like that which is very close to christianity (not defending teh religion here, dun get me wrong)

    Oh here’s another one, Mary Sues….characters who have such tremendous ability, too perfect, just sooo perfect. She/He should be pretty enough to be adored by the whole world. So smart, so strong (yet the physique doesn’t show)…in short, someone just so perfect.

  12. First off, its “arigato” (the r/l sound is closer to r than l). Secondly, how about the lone samarai character? Vash? Spike, even though he joined Beebop? Alucard? It’s pretty prevalent.

  13. In every anime I seen, they always make the big guy character the “all brawn, but no brains” or “prideful dumb-muscle” or is gay. And who looks incredibly strong, but often outmatched by other characters. And is always hungry thinking usually about his stomach and eating tons of food. And sometimes, they’re usually portrayed as the dumb-founded henchmen in some anime.

  14. Very good thread, but I must comment that Edward from fullmetal alchemist was not japanese, so having blonde hair was perfectly natural.

  15. Just to clarify something. When talking about the orange haired guys, Edward (I presume you are talking about him) is not Japanese. Hiromu arakawa (the author) said this is more of an English place. And besides he is part Xercies(sp) because of his dad.

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