Type: Character Cliché
What made it popular: No concrete idea, perhaps it is just the natural anti-thesis to the yamato nadeshiko
Cliche Level: Medium
Where can you find it: Ef the fairy tale of the two, Toradora, Angel Beats, Haruhi, Nyaruko-san, various comedy anime/harem etc.
These girls are seemingly always energetic and cheerful no matter the situation, they are like a ball of energy made up of cocaine and redbull. They are hyperactive females who tend to be the center of attention due to their constant talking or actions, they never sit down and can generally rarely stay in one place/or remain calm. They tend to speak very fast and run around the place and others characters like a Tasmanian devil. Seemingly nothing gets them down no matter the situation, they are simply just always have and energetic. However if something forces them to break up their usual character they may to switch to a complete different speech pattern and behavior, making it seem like they have a case of split personality.
Genki is the Japanese word for energetic, lively and enthusiastic. These girls were named after the word for good reason, as they are the living embodiment of these concepts. Genki girls are one of the common romantic interests or heroines in romance/harem anime or visual novels/dating sim. There are quite a few variations to this cliché, that I will detail now.
- The Ditz/Boke: This is a type of Genki girl who is not only energetic but also a completely idiot, which is a terrifying combination as their active behavior usually tends to harm themselves when they slam into walls, poles or other people.
- The Childhood Friend: Childhood Friend cliché combined with Genki Girl cliché
- The Traumatic Genki: This is arguably the best type of Genki girl as they are not actually Genki. Their cheerfulness and overly friendliness is nothing but a facade, they wear their genki personality like one would wear a mask. It is not their true nature, but everyone else believes them to be a Genki girl and do not suspect her or take her seriously. More often than not, these girls have received some kind of psychological or emotional trauma in their past, which caused them to adopt this personality in order to protect themselves or to avoid being harmed. But it is possible to break through her facade if one simply pays attention, it is usually the protagonist to do so in a romance setting.
- The Murdering Genki: Similar to the Traumatic Genki, except these characters hide a murdering personality beneath their Genkiness.
- The Genius/Tensai Genki: Opposite of the Boke Genki, this one is a hyperactive genius instead of a hyperactive idiot.
Why is it bad: Many times because of their constant energetic nature can come off as annoying and sometimes even ruin the mood of the show when they don’t act like a normal person (Because many Genki girls are quite literally taken to the extreme, thus making them unrealistic). Also another sub cliché with them is that 1/3 of them tend to have a dark or sad past which is the reason why they are behaving the way they are, this would by itself would be a really good plot twist, however due to the fact that many Genki Girls have past like that and as I said it is quite a common subcliché, an experienced viewer will immediately suspect such a backstory the moment they see one so they end up unsurprising and boring instead. But the alternative is worse since if they don’t have such a backstory or no backstory at all then they simply feel like shallow 1 dimensional characters who only exists for the sake of comic relief/jokes, which might be fine depending on the type of show or genre they are in.